Another measure of brand value, and another brand value study that puts Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) on top. New Brand Finance research pegs the value of the Apple brand at $128 billion.
The measurement is odd. It is based on what a company would have to pay in royalties to “license” its own brand, if it did not own its brand. However, with the established methodologies of BrandZ and Interbrand, the leaders in brand value studies, Brand Finance needs an approach that is much different from theirs.
The conclusions from the study mirror those of most others that cover the same ground. Tech brands do the best, with 52 of the brands on the list of 500 posting an aggregate value of $574 billion, compared to the total of $2.6 trillion for all 500.
After Apple’s $128 billion, Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is worth $76.7 billion. It often runs second to Apple on brand valuation lists. The Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) brand is worth $67.1 billion, followed by America’s two largest telecom companies. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has a brand value of $58.9 billion, just behind Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) at $59.9 billion. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) falls very far behind at $6.9 billion.
The results for retailers have to embarrass the largest company in the industry. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has a brand value of only $46.7 billion. Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) is $56.1 billion.
America’s top bank brands are clustered close to one another, taking the 11th, 13th, 14th and 16th spots. Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) leads the group at $34.9 billion, followed by Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) at $25.7 billion, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) at $26.3 billion, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) at $24.8 billion.
The valuation of brands owned by several badly damaged companies dropped sharply. The Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) brand from 71st place in 2014 to 143th, with a brand value of $3.9 billion. The value of the Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) brand dropped from 124th to 149th at $3.8 billion. The value of the Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) brand dropped from 120th to 181st at $3.3 billion.
Among the brands that surged in value, Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) moved from 389th to 195 with a value of $3.1 billion. Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) rose from 153 to 93 at $5.5 billion. LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) rose from 278 to 174 at $3.5 billion.
The Brand Finance study is like almost all others, a black box that contains formulas that are not transparent. The does not take away the fun.