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Apple has  achieved exceptional brand value growth in the past year, increasing it by $219bn (74%) to $517bn  and thereby reclaiming its title as the most valuable brand globally. This is  according to leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance.

The technology company achieved this brand value increase despite iPhone sales having largely plateaued. The rise is attributed to Apple’s strategy of finding new markets, expanding its ecosystem and encouraging upgrades to higher-value iPhones. The company has maintained its position as the dominant player in the premium smartphone market, with a share of 71%.

Brand value is the net economic benefit a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand strength, on the other hand, is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

David Haigh, chair and CEO of Brand Finance, says: “Apple has grown its brand value through strategic diversification and premiumisation, moving away from heavy reliance on iPhone sales towards ventures into wearables and services such as Apple TV subscriptions. According to our research, more than 50% of respondents recognised Apple as expensive but worth the price, reinforcing the brand’s ability to demand a price premium.”

A strong brand, he says, can lead to improved business returns in several ways. “For one thing, a strong brand can help a company differentiate itself from its competitors and establish a unique identity in the market, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and retention. This, in turn, can lead to higher sales and revenue.

“A strong brand can also help a company command a higher price for its products or services as consumers are willing to pay more for a brand they perceive as high-quality and trustworthy.

“In addition, a strong brand can help a company attract top talent, as employees may be more attracted to work for a well-known and reputable brand.

“Finally, a strong brand can provide a company with a competitive advantage and help it weather economic downturns or industry disruptions.”

Brand Finance research found significant gain among brands that have heavily invested in AI, seeing Nvidia (brand value up 163% to $44.5bn) become the world’s fastest-growing brand.

A key supplier of chips in the AI space, Nvidia is perceived as highly innovative, while familiarity, consideration and recommendation levels all increased year on year, according to Brand Finance research. The brand’s overall performance firmly positions Nvidia as a front-runner in the AI chip market, demonstrating a successful balance between innovation and market adaptation.

Europe’s most valuable brand, Deutsche Telekom, ranked ninth globally, secured the world's top telecoms position and a spot in the global top 10. The company (brand value up 17% to $73,3bn) surpassed Verizon (brand value up 6% to $71.8bn).

Deutsche Telekom’s customer momentum, driven by network strength, has boosted group service revenues, while successful fibre deployment in Europe, alongside 5G leadership in the US, enhanced connectivity perceptions.

Brand Finance research highlighted the company’s leadership in customer satisfaction metrics, driving a brand strength index increase to 83/100. This consistent global brand delivery is reinforced by the introduction of Deutsche Telekom’s unified global claim, “connecting your world,” completing its global brand strategy with heightened international focus and customer perspective.

Tesla (brand value down 12%) has dropped out of the top 10, falling to 18th place in the ranking. The company has been harmed by its large exposure to the Chinese  electric vehicle (EV) market. BYD, which grew its brand value by 20% to $12.1bn, has now overtaken Tesla to become the world’s largest EV maker. While Tesla’s brand strength remains high overall, rated AAA-, Brand Finance research shows a significant fall in reputation. Tesla’s close association with Elon Musk, a controversial leadership figure, creates added reputational risk for the brand.

That said, despite BYD’s greater production volume Tesla’s brand value is five times that of BYD. This highlights the enduring significance of brands as corporate assets. It allows Tesla to command a price premium, support its company value and potentially fuel renewed growth.

The full ranking can be found here: Brand Finance Global 500 2024 ranking.

The big take-out:

The big take-out: Apple is one of the world’s most recognised brands;, its high brand awareness averages 96% across the 17 countries researched by Brand Finance.

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