Apple has held the top position in Brand Finance's list for the past five years; however, this year Brand Finance found that Apple 'over-exploited the goodwill of its customers' leading to a 27% drop in brand value.
Apple has for the last five years held sway as the world’s most valuable brand. Apple was once a paragon of branding excellence. It has a meticulously constructed, sleek and innovative visual identity that runs consistently through all its products, services and retail sites. Its mono-brand structure created marketing efficiencies and helped to cement its logo as an icon of the 21st century. Reliability, user-friendly interfaces, knowledgeable staff and, most importantly, its transformative technology meant that the brand fulfilled its promises. Loyalty and advocacy reached cultish proportions with fans waiting days outside Apple stores for the latest release. However, Apple’s evangelists are beginning to lose their faith. The snaking queues of early adopters have shrunk almost to the point of invisibility. Apple has failed to maintain its technological advantage and has repeatedly disillusioned its advocates with tweaks when material changes were expected.
Put simply, Apple has over-exploited the goodwill of its customers, it has failed to generate significant revenues from newer products such as the Apple Watch and cannot demonstrate that genuinely innovative technologies desired by consumers are in the pipeline. Its brand has lost its luster and must now compete on an increasingly level playing field not just with traditional rival Samsung, but a slew of Chinese brands such as Huawei and OnePlus in the smartphone market, Apple’s key source of profitability.
Brand Finance’s analysts had remained bullish about Apple’s potential to recover its lost momentum, but the rot has now truly set in, with brand value falling 27% since early 2016 to US$107 billion, which sees it lose its status as the world’s most valuable brand. Apple’s loss has been Google’s gain. Six years after it last held the title in 2011, Google is now the world’s most valuable brand with a value of US$109 billion.
Has Apple's brand value dropped in your eyes? Let us know in the comments! You can find the full Brand Finance report linked below.