Forbes: Apple the world’s most valuable brand – by far

“A strong brand name is an incredibly valuable asset. Consumer companies in particular devote huge chunks of time and resources to solidify and expand their brands,” Kurt Badenhausen reports for Forbes. “‘A valuable brand delivers a return for the company on two dimensions,’ says David Rubenstein, professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. ‘Either it allows the company to charge a premium price or it adds more volume or market share.'”

“When it comes to charging a premium price and moving product, no one does it better than Apple,” Badenhausen reports. “The Apple brand is worth $124.2 billion and almost twice as much as any other brand in Forbes’ annual study of the world’s most valuable brands. The value of the Apple brand is up 19% over last year. Apple’s strong brand and innovative products allowed it to redefine four industry categories over the past 13 years with the launches of the iPhone, iPad, iPod and iTunes. The next industries on Apple’s hit list are smarthwatches with the Watch and financial payments with Apple Pay.”

“Microsoft ranks second with a value of $63 billion,” Badenhausen reports. “Microsoft inked a five-year, $400 million with the NFL last year. The pact includes Surface tablet computers on the sideline in 2014 that download high-def photographs of plays as they occur. Microsoft has witnessed the power of the Apple brand with the sponsorship, as announcers and players repeatedly refer to the Surface tablets as iPads and one player called them “knockoff iPads.” Microsoft is still a bit player in tablets and phones.”

Badenhausen reports, “Google shoots up two spots to No. 3 among the top brands with a value of $56.6 billion, up 19%.”

Read more, and see the full list, here.


  1. Not so much ‘the power of the Apple brand’ more the excellence of the Apple hardware.

    A brand name is not enough by itself – it needs to be backed up by the products behind the name.

    In this case, these are clearly superior to those of Microsoft.

  2. writer is missing the big picture. apple’s redefinition of “industry categories” is like chewing food compared to fine dining. what apple is really doing is redefining the computing experience. i used to think there were separate categories of mobile and desktop, but apple is now even blurring those into a single experience with yosemite. “industry categories” are what other companies define for their brand environment. your personal computing experience, whether at work or in recreation, is apple’s. has been that way from day one, but people too close to the subject have a hard time seeing it.

    a little off topic is my experience now of watching the bbc planet earth BD on my retina iMac. apple didn’t give me the functionality out of the box, but that will come. many have questioned the functionality of a 4k display except for detailed raw photography and high end video editing/authoring. having lived with it for all of 2 days now, i feel like making a powerpoint stack of what 4k means to your experience vs 2k. typical to apple, it is not in the specs, but in the experience. i have never watched even one of the 4 planet earth BD discs beginning to end. in 2 days, i’ve been immersed in the beauty (an emotional experience) buried deep into the content and now have watched all 4 discs end to end. half way through it i dug out my rev 1 HK soundsticks from 2000 to be immersed a little deeper.

    for apple their brand value is driven by exceptional experiences with their offerings. never being satisfied with “exceptional” will drive their brand value even further.

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