Business, Economics and Jobs

Apple named world's most valuable brand


A model uses her Apple device backstage ahead of the Nookie Beach show during Rosemount Australian Fashion Week at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney, Australia on May 3, 2011.


Lisa Maree Williams

Blame it on the iPad.

Apple has been named the world's "most valuable brand," according to Millward Brown, the research arm of advertising giant WPP.

The iPad and iPhone maker replaces Google, which has topped the widely-watched BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking for the past four years.

So what's driving Apple's brand success?

Peter Walshe, global BrandZ director at Millward Brown, told the Financial Times that Apple's rise is due to the fact that its products are seen as cool by consumers, and useful by companies:

“The anecdotal evidence is that if employees are given the choice of two similar jobs they opt for the one with better technology for its employees – for example an iPad,” Mr Walshe said. Apple, he added, had also succeeded in emulating luxury goods brands, in that making its products more expensive had increased their desirability.

Millward Brown says Apple's brand value has increased by $137 billion dollars since 2006, the year the agency began this ranking. Apple's brand value now compares with the company's market capitalization of $320 billion.

The agency calculates brand value by using a variety of factors, including an "estimate of the brand’s contribution to earnings, valuation of intangible assets, measures of customer perception and an estimate of growth potential."

Beyond Apple and Google, this year's list is dominated by other tech firms: IBM, Microsoft, AT&T and China Mobile are all in the top ten.

The biggest movers, however, come from the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Of the 11 companies added to this year's top 100 list, seven come from the BRICs.

[Read GlobalPost's BRIC Yard blog here].

Social media giant Facebook is also gaining ground.

Here's a quick check of the five fastest risers:

1) Facebook — up 246 percent

2) Chinese search engine Baidu — up 141 percent

3) Wells Fargo — up 97 percent

4) Burberry — up 86 percent

5) Apple — up 84 percent