The annual Millward Brown BrandZ survey was released recently, with Apple holding fast to its number one spot. Apple's brand worth for 2012 actually grew 19% since last year to $183 billion, followed by IBM with $116 billion brand worth, and Google which dropped a down a rank. It's worth noting that telecom and tech brands claimed about 44% of the top 100 chart's value, compared to a third in 2006. Among the carriers, AT&T still claimed a higher brand value than Verizon, but Verizon has a lot more forward momentum. The Brandz survey spanned over 380 categories, and was generated after over 65,000 different brand measurements in 41 countries.
It's not a huge surprise to see Apple's brand value so high, and one would expect the trend to continue well into next year. In fact, the effectiveness of Apple's branding has gotten to the point where competitors can't help but attack the cult-ish mindset in courts. Apple has created an iconic brand with no small help from their marketing efforts, retail locations, and not to mention world-class products. In fact, at this point it's hard to imagine many other companies being able to command the same clout among the masses as Apple has. Seriously, what could other manufacturers even do to recreate the same kind of mystique as Apple without just looking like a copycat?
Brand value has real tangible returns, and isn't just an indicator of how good Apple is at marketing itself; UBS Research showed not long ago that iPhone users are overwhelmingly the most likely to stick with Apple for their next device out of every smartphone manufacturer. That's part and parcel of having a strong brand.
You can download the full BrandZ 2012 report here, which is actually really, really detailed. Included are a bunch of interesting editorials on marketing across a variety of industries and regional trends.