With a brand value of $153,285m, Apple is not only the number one technology brand, it is the world's most valuable brand. Its successful marriage of platform, content and device arguably illustrates more clearly than other other brand the power that modern brands have.
In the six years the Brandz list has run, Apple's brand value has increased by 859%. Eileen Millward, CEO of Millward Brown which runs the Brandz survey, said: "By nurturing its brand and consistently innovating, Apple is able to command a high price premium and weather economic turbulence."
Expand to the cloudApple's next move is widely rumoured to be a further expansion into cloud computing, remote storage facilities which allow consumers to access content at will. Facebook is the largest of the public clouds, and its 246% increase in brand value took it into the top 10.
TV and the internet are becoming increasingly linked and, says the report: "Facebook and Twitter, cloud venues for the latest content, became the water coolers for conversation about last night's TV shows." The survey also talks of tech brands deepening bonds with customers by insinuating themselves into consumers' personal lives.
Brands to matter lessAs access to cloud computing becomes more popular, the need for the kind of structured databases provided by the likes of Oracale and Siemans, or for the need to have the near ubiquitous Intel chips inside your device will be reduced. Indeed, the cloud may mean consumers care little about the brand they use.
And that's where Apple comes in again. It has a phenomenally strong emotional and functional brand appeal and if any brand survives a mood to a brandless tech world, it looks better placed than most. Its own cloud offer may see it move to 'own' the concept for the brand in much the same way as the company has done with the music download market.
The Most Valuable Technology Brands 20111 Apple $153,285 (up 84% on last year)
2 Google $111,498m (down 2%)
3 IBM $100,849m (up 17%)
4 Microsoft $78,243m (up 2%)
5 HP $35,404m (down 11%)
6 Oracle $26,948m (up 95)
7 SAP $26,078m (up 7%)
8 Blackberry $24,623m (down 20%)
9 Baidu $22,555m (up 141%)
10 Facebook $19,102m (up246%)