Forbes today released its list of the world’s most valuable companies, putting Apple at #1 with a valuation of $124.2 billion. That total puts its worth at almost twice that of any other company on the list, including Microsoft and Google, which came in second and third place, respectively. Forbes factored in items such as how many products Apple moved in 2014, which pushed the company’s brand value up 19% over last year’s. That Apple would top a list of most valuable brands for the year likely comes as no big surprise to most readers.
A strong brand name is an incredibly valuable asset. Consumer companies in particular devote huge chunks of time and resources to solidify and expand their brands. “A valuable brand delivers a return for the company on two dimensions,” says David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “Either it allows the company to charge a premium price or it adds more volume or market share.” When it comes to charging a premium price and moving product, no one does it better than Apple. There are other phones and tablets that are functionally comparable or arguably better than the iPhone and iPad, but the Apple brand carries tremendous weight and credibility, and customers are willing to pay up for that. The company sold 39.3 million iPhones in its latest quarter and could sell as many as 60 million during the last three months of 2014 with the holiday selling season. Apple also moved 12.3 million iPads and 5.5 million Macs last quarter.