On the heels of a survey showing Apple's growing prestige in the Far East comes a new study by brand management firm Interbrand for BusinessWeek magazine. The study shows Apple to be the 20th most valuable brand in the world, right in front of H&M and ten spots ahead of Budweiser.
In the study, Interbrand did financial analysis and something called "Role of Brand" analysis to determine how much of a company's revenue is based on the brand alone: the whole mental process that goes into buying an Apple rather than a different brand of phone or computer. This allows them to figure brand strength and ultimately brand value, which is supposedly a number that can be compared to a company's earnings.
As other companies - particularly financial enterprises - fell down the list, Apple's star is rising, and they moved four spots up the ranking compared to last year. Even in a recession, more and more people are becoming enamored of not just the products, but the "style" associated with them:
Declining Mac sales and fears for the company’s future without brand visionary Steve Jobs, were outweighed by record high iPod sales, doubling sales for the iPod Touch, and all-time high market share for Mac OS software. Price might be a barrier for cost-conscious consumers, but Apple responded quickly with high margin, low-priced products like the US $99 iPhone and a new, voice-activated iPod Shuffle. The Apple brand is the most supported within its industry, and among the most iconic of relatively young brands in the world.