The value of the Apple brand has long been measured and calculating using various methods, and the latest study places its value at $128.3 billion. Unsurprisingly, the top three spots in The Billion Dollar Brands Club are all technology companies.
Apple far ahead of other brands
Brand Finance put together the list of the top 500 U.S. brands by value according to its methodology. It states that the value of Apple’s brand has climbed 29% from last year when the firm placed the value at $104.7 billion.
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Google is in a distant second place this year with a brand value of $76.7 billion. The search giant’s brand value increased 32% year over year, according to the study. In third place is Microsoft’s brand, with a value of $67.06 billion, according to the study. Brand Finance states that Microsoft’s brand value has increased 35% since last year.
Verizon is in fourth place with a value of $59.8 billion, while competitor AT&T’s brand value of $58.8 billion places it in fifth place and close on Verizon’s heels.
Difference with other brand studies
Douglas McIntyre of 24/7 Wall Street notes that the method used to determine companies’ brand values is quite different than those used by Interbrand and Brandz. He refers to the methodology used by Brand Finance as “odd” but pointing out that the firm would have to come up with a way to calculate brand value which is different than that used by the other two firms. Brand Finance uses the calculation of how much in royalties companies would have to pay in order to license its own brand if it did not own its brand. Update: the folks at Brand Finance emailed us a clarification on their methodology:
“The Royalty Relief method is only a portion of our integrated methodology. We conduct an assessment called a BSI or Brand Strength Index which incorporates the ISO 10668 compliant brand valuations methodology which emphasizes transparency and objectivity. The three key areas of data collection include: Brand investment data; Brand equity data (which also includes consumer behavioral data); Financial performance data.”
Interbrand and Brandz are perhaps more well-known than Brand Finance, although Brand Finance has been doing global brand valuations for almost 20 years. This past October, Interbrand slapped a value of $118.9 billion on Apple’s brand and $107 billion on Google’s brand. In May 2014, Brandz placed Google’s brand higher than Apple at $159 billion and Apple’s brand at $148 billion. So as you can see, there’s a broad range of values ascribed to brands using various methodologies.
There are a few similarities among the studies, however, as tech brands tend to do better than others. Brand Finance lists 52 of the 500 brands on the list as technology firms.