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Apple becomes world’s most expensive brand


Apple has ousted Google from its number one position as the world’s most valuable brand, ending the Internet search giant’s four-year reign in the top spot, according to a new study by global brands agency Millward Brown.

The brand is now worth $153 billion, almost half Apple’s market capitalisation, according to the annual BrandZ study of the world’s top 100 brands.

Apple’s portfolio of popular consumer goods, such as the iPhone and iPad, has pushed it past Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology company last year.

Global brands director of Millward Brown, Peter Walshe, said Apple’s meticulous attention to detail, along with an increasing presence of its gadgets in corporate environments, have set it apart from other consumer-electronics makers.

“Apple is breaking the rules in terms of its pricing model,” he said.

“It’s doing what luxury brands do, where the higher price the brand is, the more it seems to underpin and reinforce the desire.

“Obviously, it has to be allied to great products and a great experience, and Apple has nurtured that.”

According to the survey, one of the brands most threatened by Apple’s surging popularity in the workplace took a big hit.

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry brand lost a fifth of its brand value. Among technology companies, only Nokia’s 28 per cent decline in brand value was steeper.

Of the top 10 brands on the world’s most valuable list, six were technology and telecommunication companies: Google at number two, IBM at number three, Microsoft at number five, AT&T at number seven and China Mobile at number nine.

McDonald’s jumped up two places to number four, as fast-food became the fastest-growing category. Coca-Cola dropped one place to number six, Marlboro also dropped one place to number eight, and General Electric was number 10.

Walshe attributed demand from China as a major factor in the rise of fast-food brands.

“The Chinese have been discovering fast-food and it’s such a vast market — Starbucks, McDonald’s… and pizza has hit China,” he said.

“The way McDonald’s has reinvented itself, adapted its menus, added healthy options, expanding the times of day it can be visited, for example oatmeal for breakfast… that allied with growth in developing markets has really helped that brand.”

Nineteen of the world’s top 100 brands came from emerging markets, up from 13 last year.

Facebook entered the top 100 at number 35 with a brand valued at $19.1 billion, while Chinese search engine Baidu rose to number 29 from 46.

Toyota reclaimed its position as the world’s most valuable car brand, as it recovered from a bungled 2010 product recall. The survey, however, was carried out before the March earthquake in Japan that caused massive disruption to Japanese supply chains.

The total value of the world’s top 100 brands rose by 17 per cent to $2.4 trillion.

Lana Galea View Comments

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  • David Lee

    Just amazing how Apple have done so well. I can remember planning for the end of Mac when it looked like they were going bust.

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