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How to Create and Develop Lasting Brand Value in the World Market
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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Premium beats freemium as Apple ousts Google from top slot

Yes, it’s official. After four years in the top slot, Google has been displaced by Apple as the Most Valuable Global Brand according to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking 2011.

Apple’s astounding financial and brand performance has catapulted it from third place in 2010 with a valuation of $83,153 million, to No. 1 in 2011 with a value of $153,285 million.

Apple’s success is proof positive that investment in innovation, design and branding do pay off. In 2006, Apple placed 29th in the Top 100. Its value has grown 859 percent since then, adding $137bn in value. By comparison, Google ranked 7th in 2006 and has grown 298 percent. That in itself is no mean feat, since the average for the Top 100 over the same time frame was 64 percent.

The contrast between Apple and Google is even more interesting because of the very different models the two companies espouse. Google is the archetypal Internet brand, with free services and open systems. Premium-priced Apple eschews the open model in favor of what Steve Jobs refers to as an “integrated” model.

One thing is for sure, the integrated approach does help Apple maintain the consistency so important to a strong brand. Whether it is a Mac, iPod,iPhone or iPad, the design and interface of Apple products is familiar and easy to use.

Rather than dwell too long on the change at the top, or detail the reasons behind Apple’s success, let’s see what else the new Top 100 can tell us about the evolving world of brands.

Last year, Apple sold more iPads than Macs, and more iPhones than iPods. And according to a new report by IHS iSuppli, Apple will capture 76 percent of all mobile app revenues in 2011.

These facts illustrate an important trend. Technology brands are increasingly interdependent. Today,  smartphones need mobile infrastructure and attractive apps in order to be successful. Apple may have the best technology and apps, but it still needs good connectivity to make the package work.

It has been a long time coming, but clicks have finally beaten bricks. Amazon now has a more valuable brand than Walmart. Again, this change reflects a seismic shift in the world of business and brands. Back in 2006, Walmart was the 6th most valuable brand and Amazon the 78th. Today, Amazon is worth $37,628 million, narrowly beating Walmart to 14th position in the ranking.

Finally, the ranking offers hope that there really is light at the end of the tunnel, as the value of the Top 100 exceeds the pre-recession value – up 24 percent on 2008.

As businesses have resumed spending, business-to-business (B2B) companies have benefited with brands like IBM, Accenture and SAP improving their value. Categories that still lag the overall recovery are cars (down 27 percent on 2008), luxury (down 13 percent) and apparel (down 1 percent).

Click here for more details on the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands. Have a look, and then tell us what you think are the stand out findings from this year’s ranking.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, May 08, 2011 and is filed under Brands. You can leave a response.

5 Responses

  1. Monday, May 09, 2011

    Ralf Ritter

    Sensational report! I had the release date for this report marked in my calendar and it was issued right on time. Way to go! Some interesting shifts! Thanks a lot for sharing this!
  2. Monday, May 09, 2011


    I wonder how "global" this is? Usually these kinds of brand surveys are very America-centered, and their purpose is to make Americans feel good. Most of the world has never heard of Apple, unlike many brands that are truly global.
  3. Monday, May 09, 2011


    Apple is the number one technology company in the world. A position it  has attained through innovation and invention. Unfortunately, Chinese companies are busy stealing technologies, commiting all sorts of intellectual , social, and economic crimes. CopyCats!!!!
  4. Monday, May 09, 2011


    @ Chinaski, The BrandZ Top 100 is as global as is practical. We cover over 30 countries representing approximately 85% of the world's GDP. Unlike some rankings we do include "local" brands that are present in only one country, e.g. China Mobile.
    Apple may not be universally known but among those who are familiar with the brand it is highly desirable.

  5. Thursday, January 16, 2014


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