Forbes has just released their annual study of the world’s most valuable brands and Microsoft has scored the third spot on the podium behind its tech rivals Apple and Google. The Cupertino giant has won the crown with a $154.1 billion brand value, which is quite far ahead of its competitors Google ($82.5B) and Microsoft ($75.2B).
Forbes began valuing the richest brands in 2010 and Apple has finished first sixth times in a row. To establish its yearly ranking, the magazine has considered more than 200 global brands to select a final list of 100 most valuable brands worldwide spanning 16 countries across 19 broad industry categories. To be selected in the pool, brands were required to have more than a token presence in the US and US Brands count for 52 brands in the full list. You can have a look at the top ten below (the full list is available over here):
Other interesting bits from the Forbes list, Facebook appears as the fastest-growing brand in the top 100 for the second time in a row with a yearly growth of 44%. On the other side, IBM's brand value fell 17% to $41.4 billion this year, which is not all that surprising, according to the magazine the company "a reported 16 straight quarters of revenue declines and revenue in the latest quarter was the company’s lowest in 14 years."
David Reibstein, professor of marketing and branding expert at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, added that “brands get their value from how customers perceive them. What makes it valuable from a company perspective is that customers are willing to pay a higher price or are more likely to buy.” While we can't deny that the Apple brand has become quite iconic today, the Microsoft brand has also slightly evolved over the past few years as the Redmond giant pursued its retail strategy and hardware efforts. Can you believe that Microsoft opened a flagship store at 677 Fifth Ave. in New York City last year? Also, with its premium line of Surface devices (with some luxury accessories, such as this Signature Type Cover made from Alcantara), Microsoft is clearly targeting the high-end of the market and "creative professionals" which have mostly been Apple customers so far. Microsoft
While there probably won't be Microsoft enthusiasts spending the night outside Microsoft Stores to buy the next Surface devices like Apple fans and iPhones, but are you surprised to see Microsoft in the top three valuable brands worldwide? Please tell us what you think in the comments.