What is the world’s most valuable consumer-facing brand? If you’d asked the guys behind the BrandZ survey at any point over the last four years, they’d have told you “Google,” but in 2011 their answer has changed. The strength of the iPad has pushed Apple ahead of Google for the first time as the most valuable brand in the world, according to Millward Brown’s 2011 BrandZ study of the most-valuable global brands.
Apple’s brand value climbed 84 percent in the past year to $153.3 billion and leading a pack that includes the likes of Coca-Cola, BMW, HSBC, and Disney. The tech sector had a very strong year as a whole, Facebook Inc., operator of the world’s largest social- networking site, had a 246 percent climb in brand value, the fastest, to become the No. 35 brand at $19.1 billion, according to the report. Baidu Inc., Google’s Chinese rival, posted the second-fastest climb at 141 percent, to be the No. 29 brand at $22.6 billion and Amazon becoming the world’s most valuable retailer (at $37.6b) in spite of having no actual stores. Sadly, there were some downers too, as Nintendo lost 37 percent of its brand worth over the past year, Nokia dropped by 28 percent, and the BlackBerry marque was considered 20 percent less awesome than before.