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Apple retains brand crown with IBM and Google following behind

22 May 2012

Apple has maintained its stranglehold as the world's top brand after winning the same accolade last year, as technology firms dominate the list of the world's largest brands.

According to the annual BrandZ study by market research agency Millward Brown, Apple's brand value has shot up by 19 per cent in the past year, to $183bn helping it retain its number one position in the survey.

Meanwhile, IBM leap-frogged Google to snatch the number two spot, with Big Blue's brand value pegged at $116bn while Google's dropped to $108bn.

But while Apple had enjoyed its second year as the world's top brand, it faces far stiffer competition in the future, according to David Roth, of advertising group WPP, which commissioned the survey.

"Samsung is successfully outpacing Apple in a significant number of markets by positioning as a cool, well-priced alternative to the ubiquitous iPhone," said Roth.

Other technology firms in the BrandZ top 10 include Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T and China Mobile. 

"The value of the world’s leading brands keeps rising across many categories, sustaining and nurturing businesses," said Eileen Campbell, global chief executive of brand research at Millward Brown.

Millward Brown uses analysis of firms' financial data, market intelligence and consumer feedback to quantify the value of a brand.

Elsewhere in the list, social networking giant Facebook was the biggest mover in the list, with its brand value rising by an eye-popping 74 per cent over the past year.

According to Millward Brown, firms with strong brands deliver better value for their shareholders than firms with weak brands.

That would come as welcome news to Facebook, which has seen its share price slump in the days after its initial public offering, as underwriters withdraw their support and other buyers have eschewed the stock.

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