Apple is not only a hugely valuable company, but it’s also the world’s most valuable brand – a title it lost for five years before winning back the top slot last year and retaining it this year.

The annual Brand Finance Global 500 index sets out to calculate the value of just the brand, distinct from the value of the company…

You can think of this as: What would the Apple brand be worth if the company allowed third-parties to license it to sell their products? The answer for Apple, says Brand Finance, is $355B.

This year’s ranking shows only one change in the top five: Walmart bumping Samsung down to fifth place:

  1. Apple
  2. Amazon
  3. Google
  4. Microsoft
  5. Walmart
  6. Samsung
  7. Facebook
  8. ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China)
  9. Huawei
  10. Verizon

Apple achieved the highest value ever calculated for any brand.

Apple has retained the title of the world’s most valuable brand following a 35% increase to US$355.1 billion – the highest brand value ever recorded in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking.

Apple had a stellar 2021, highlighted by its achievement at the start of 2022 – being the first company to reach a US$3 trillion market valuation. The tech giant’s success historically lied in honing its core brand positioning, but its more recent growth can be attributed to the company’s recognition that its brand can be applied effectively to a much broader range of services.

The iPhone still accounts for around half of the brand’s sales. However, this year saw Apple give more attention to its other suite of products with a new generation of iPads, an overhaul to the iMac, and introduction of AirTags. Its range of services, from Apple Pay to Apple TV, has also gone from strength to strength and become of increasing importance to the brand’s success.

Additionally, Apple knows the importance of being in tune with its customers for maintaining brand equity. Privacy and the environment are salient topics, and Apple bolstered its credentials on both fronts. This is evidenced by a greater transparency of the App Store’s privacy policy, reinforcing the trust customers have in the brand, and the announcement that more of Apple’s manufacturing partners will be moving to 100% renewable energy, as the company aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

“Apple commands an amazing level of brand loyalty,” said Brand Finance CEO David Haigh, “largely thanks to its reputation for quality and innovation. Decades of hard work put into perfecting the brand have seen Apple become a cultural phenomenon, which allows it to not only compete, but thrive in a huge number of markets. With rumours abounding of its foray into electric vehicles and virtual reality, it seems it is ready for a new leap.”

TikTok was the fastest-growing in brand value.

Tripling in brand value over the past year, TikTok is the world’s fastest-growing brand. With an astounding 215% growth, the entertainment app’s brand value has increased from US$18.7 billion in 2021 to US$59.0 billion this year. Claiming 18th spot among the world’s top 500 most valuable brands, it is the highest new entrant to the Brand Finance Global 500 2022 ranking.

With COVID-19 restrictions still in effect across the globe throughout 2021, digital entertainment, social media, and streaming services saw continued growth, and TikTok’s rise is testament to how media consumption is changing. With its offering of easily digestible and entertaining content, the app’s popularity spread across the globe, however, it also acted as a creative outlet and provided a way for people to connect during lockdown.

Photo: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona/Unsplash

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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