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When CEO's play Top Trumps, best brand doesn't match the revenue or market share categories, but makes a nice tiebreaker, as Apple (news, site) can now attest.

Surveying the Carnage

Brands come and brands go -- such is the reality of business. Shooting up the chart in pollster Millward Brown's Brandz survey for 2011 is Apple, which rises 84% in brand value to take over the No. 1 spot from Google. Also doing well were IBM in third place with a 17% rise in brand value, Amazon (up 37% to No. 14) and Facebook rising up to No. 35.

What the heck is "brand value," you might ask. Millward Brown explains that it is the amount of revenue generated based on loyalty to the brand and other factors such as growth potential. So, it's nothing Apple can put on its next quarterly filing, but it's nice to have all the same. Sales of the iPad and iPhone will be the major cause of Apple's charge up the rankings.

Down the Tubes?

Not doing so well in the report were HP, down at No. 18, while BlackBerry lost 20% of its brand value, demonstrating the company's slump in the eyes of consumers. There's a more detailed rundown in this AdAge report.

Microsoft clings to the No. 5 spot with a 2% rise in brand, probably boosted by the popular Xbox Kinect among other factors, but those below it are rising faster with old-world brands such as Coca Cola and Marlboro still proving their worth.

China is showing its strength, with China Mobile breaking into the top 10 at No. 9, while there are now a dozen Chinese brands in the top 100.