Coca-Cola is often held up as that most American of brands, but it’s certainly not the most valuable American brand. In fact, that upstart Apple — a company 90 years younger than Coke — has just pushed the sugar-water purveyor off the list of most valuable brand in the world.
According to a new report from brand consulting firm Interbrand, Apple’s brand is worth about $100 billion, enough to end Coca-Cola’s 13-year run as the most valuable brand in the world. Google was named second most valuable brand, with Coca-Cola coming in third, and IBM coming in fourth.
But money wasn’t the only factor that came into play to put Apple in the top spot. According to Interbrand, ethos matters:
Every so often, a company changes our lives, not just with its products, but also with its ethos. This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Interbrand has a new #1—Apple. Few brands have enabled so many people to do so much so easily, which is why Apple has legions of adoring fans, as evidenced by the record-breaking launch of the iPhone 5c/5s. For revolutionizing the way we work, play, and communicate—and for mastering the ability to surprise and delight—Apple has set a high bar for aesthetics, simplicity, and ease of use that all other tech brands are now expected to match, and that Apple itself is expected to continually exceed.
From our perspective, Apple’s internal brand strength has remained steady. CEO Tim Cook has assembled a solid team that is aligned around the Apple vision, which has allowed them to deliver against the promise time and time again. There’s been a lot of change at the top in the last 12 months, but the alignment of both hardware and software design under Jonathan Ive is a major step toward maintaining focus. A shrewd move, perhaps, given the stiffer than ever competition over the last 12 months.
It really does show that there are a lot of ways to measure a company’s success independent of share price.