Apple Named Most Valuable Brand in the World By Brand Finance

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The United States’ most valuable brand isn’t Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), nor is it IBM (NYSE:IBM). It’s not Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) either. It’s Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) — the California-based company responsible for the iPhone, iPad, iPod and a variety of other iGadgets — for the second year in a row. It’s also the most valuable company in the world, edging out the Korean company Samsung (SSNLF.PK).

“British consulting agency Brand Finance released its report of the most valuable brands in the world and by country. Their report, released Tuesday, showed that Apple is the most valuable brand at approximately $105 billion with an AAA brand rating from the company on its United States list. Fellow technology company Google came in second with a $69 billion brand value and a brand rating of AAA+.”

Brand Finance calculates their brand values by multiplying a company’s brand revenues by its brand royalty rate, a measure of conducted using Brand Finance’s extensive license data of the company.

Apple is an extremely popular brand with a devoted following. It also made more than $170 billion in sales in the 2013 fiscal year, according to Apple’s annual report filed last October. Last year, Apple’s brand value stood at $87 billion when it was crowned the most valuable. The release of the iPhone 5 has helped boost the brand’s ranking. The iPhone 5 was considered a great success at the time of its September 2012 release. It played a role in increasing sales, likely helping Apple gain the top spots in various rankings starting last fall.

Apple frequently ranks high in lists of this variety. Last October, Forbes named the company its Most Powerful Brand. Interbrand named Apple its most valuable brand in September 2013, stealing the top honor from Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). It had been in Interband’s second place spot the previous year, edging out Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in market share. BrandZ also named Apple its Most Valuable Global Brand in its latest list.

In the past, Apple has frequently been in the top three most valuable companies, usually in the number two spot on such lists until recently. Global research agency Millward Brown named Apple the most valuable brand in a 2011 study, making it one of the earliest to name Apple the top company.

The launch of new devices like the iPhone and the iPad are attributed to Apple’s growth over the past five years, even with the switch in CEO after Steve Jobs’s retirement from Apple. The company’s increasing popularity, sales, and expansion of its Apple stores have added to its brand value.

Google has also experienced growth that’s led to better rankings on the list. The technology giant often makes the top three on recent lists. The launch of Android smartphones, Google Play, and other Google products have led to similar growth for Google.

Other companies in the top five of Brand Finance’s 2014 list include Microsoft, Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and GE (NYSE:GE) in the third, fourth, and fifth spots, respectively. The technology industry dominated most the list, making up 23 percent of the total list. Many of those technology companies are located in California, especially in the tech mecca of Silicon Valley.

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