2011's Most Valuable Brand

Apple is at it again.

No, they didn’t leak an iPhone5.
Nor did they upgrade the Macbook Pro.
And they’re certainly not announcing the iPad3.
They're just winning.

Millward Brown has named Apple the world’s most valuable brand in its annual BrandZ Top 100 Report. Not only has Apple increased its brand value by 84%, but also simultaneously vanquished Google’s four-year run with the title.

According to the study, which ranks brands based on their “ability to generate demand,” Apple’s brand value increase has been driven by year-on-year growth in all 13 product sectors studied, and has brought its current value to a cool $153.3 billion. With that kind of financial worth, it’s no wonder the Apple brand dominates.

But designer Gadi Amit has recently suggested a new facet that could be the leading attribution of Apple’s value success. According to Amit, tangibility is the truest test of a brand’s strength, and he says Apple has it. By tangibility, Amit means how easily you can imagine the company producing a product outside of their normal product sector. This tells you how tangible the brand itself actually is.

Why tangibility?

While Apple has certainly had a few product flubs (Apple TV, anyone?) The confidence with which consumers enter the Apple domain is undeniable – and for good reason. The iPod and iTunes were a digital music revolution. The iPhone redefined the smart phone, inviting every consumer to join in, network and share. Most recently, the iPad and iPad2 have landed tablets into the general public’s wish list. Most importantly, as Amit points out, tangibility increases a brand’s value by bringing greater financial opportunities, “Remember: In 2002 everyone thought Apple couldn’t sell music. Now they sell more of it than almost anyone on the planet.”

So why Apple?

The 2011 BrandZ report focuses on brand-equity tracking surveys and financial data from Bloomberg as well as other analyst reports. This data is used to calculate the earnings and value of a brand while paying close attention to aspects such as growth potential and close relationships with consumers.

The bottom line is this: Apple isn’t afraid to take chances if it means a big pay-off. And what pays off more than added brand value? By the looks of it, every other brand should be taking notes from the 2011 MVB.

Download the BrandZ Top 100 Report here.

Apple Ends Google's Four-Year Run as Most Valuable Brand via Ad Age

A New Gauge For Brand Strength: The Tangible Brand Test via Fast Company Design