In a recent valuation of top brands by Interbrand and Milward Brown, Apple ranks as the “top” brand at over $183 billion on Milward Brown’s analysis, while $33.5 billion on Interbrand’s figures.
However if you wish to interpret these numbers, we warn you to weigh each ranking carefully, since the method isn’t exactly a refined science and there is quite a bit of subjectivity involved.
According to professor of marketing at San Diego State University, Michael Belch, there are a number of models with various methods to capture and measure variables. Between the two studies, the Apple brand shows a 81.69 percent difference between the two models. Disney and McDonalds also had a wide gap at 69 and 62 percent, respectively.
So why is there such a wide difference between the two models? Apparently it is a case of arbitrary figures; Milward brown uses various models including total economic value, brand contribution and brand risk. Interbrand assesses financial performance over five years, role of the brand and brand strength. In theory they are assessing similar characteristics of the brand, but since each of these firms use their own in-house modeling the numbers can vary (in this case, quite significantly).
Using your own critical skills, what do you think? Are these the world’s top brands based on similar criteria as the two models (e.g., financial, brand strength and brand weakness)?