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Right to reply: Consumers ‘core to Apple’s success’

Media speculation about Apple running out of juice - with its focus on small changes to big products and a perceived lack of innovation – continue to circulate and unsettle investors. However the brand valuation team at Millward Brown – whose BrandZ Top100 Most Valuable Global Brands study has tracked a 1043% increase in the value of Apple’s brand from $16 billion in 2006 to $183 billion in 2012 – believes that analysts should focus on the brand’s customers before predicting Apple’s demise.

According to Robin Headlee, VP at Millward Brown Optimor, “Sustainable brand value is something that brands grow over time. Apple, the Most Valuable Brand in the World in the Brandz Top100 ranking for the last two years, has grown faster than any other global brand in the seven years that we’ve been tracking the value of global brands.

Despite a consumer trend towards austerity, Apple has premium brand behaviour that mimics most luxury brands rather than a technology brand and has created millions of fans that are hugely loyal to the brand.

Of course, innovation has also been an important driver of brand loyalty, particularly in the last few years where Apple stepped up its new product launches and competitors like Samsung have also started innovating. While innovation remains incredibly important, fans of Apple don’t expect to see frequent large scale innovations.

It’s the longer-term view and their experience with the brand that’s most important to them. And since we believe that consumers are the core component of valuing a brand, then it is those consumers – as every successful business already knows - that are central to the brand’s success.

It’s normal for brands to have periods of refinement in-between big innovation and we’ve seen this with Apple since 2006. Dips in share price and market valuations do impact brand’s valuation over time and we have seen that with other technology brands. And of course other brands – such as Samsung in the last few years – have been hugely innovative, so who knows what will happen in the future.”

Fast facts:

• For the last two years the Apple has held the top spot as the Most Valuable Global Brand in the BrandZ Top100 ranking produced by Millward Brown Optimor for WPP.

• The BrandZ valuation for Apple will be updated in the 2013 ranking to be released by Millward Brown Optimor on Tuesday 21st May.

• Apple’s brand was valued by Millward Brown Optimor in the 2012 BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brand ranking at $183 billion.

Source: Millward Brown

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