Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/01/branding_survey/
Google name 'worth $100 billion,' says Strategy Boutique
Joss sticks dropped for magic abacus
The most valuable brand in the known universe is Google, according to a survey produced by a Strategy Boutique that makes its living convincing companies that a specific financial value can be attached to something as amorphous as a brand.
The supremely confident brandmeisters at Millward Brown Optimor  published their fourth annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands rankings on Wednesday, which would have you believe that Google's brand is worth exactly $100,039,000,000.
How was this astronomical valuation ascertained? According to Millward Brown Optimor, "The dollar value of each brand in the ranking is the sum of all future earnings that brand is forecast to generate, discounted to a present day value."
Ah, that clears it up. These wizards can see into the future. Would that the lords of Wall Street had contacted MBO at about this time last year.
To divine their crystal-clear future, MBO's quants calculate how much of a company's earnings will be captured "under the banner of the brand," how much those earnings will be influenced by the "brand’s close bond with its customers," and project the "growth potential of these branded earnings."
Ain't science grand?
Gazing into this crystal ball, which is based on a "methodology similar to that employed by analysts and accountants," the top ten global brand values are as follows (in millions):
- Google: $100,039
- Microsoft: $76,249
- Coca-Cola: $67,625
- IBM: $66,622
- McDonald's: $66,575
- Apple: $63,113
- China Mobile: $61,283
- General Electric: $59,793
- Vodafone: $53,727
- Marlboro: $49,460
If you want to see the remaining 90, you'll need to download your own copy of the Top 100 here  (PDF).
If you do, you'll be treated to a lecture on the sacred populist origin of brands by the Dickensianly named Jeremy Bullmore, which traces branding back to "women in primitive villages [who] would buy their cooking oil from unmarked steel barrels."
You'll also be educated by nuggets of "whodathunkit?" wisdom such as "Consumers are less willing to pay a premium for a resource that is readily available at a fraction of the price," "Consumers are not in the mood for greed," and the stunning news that "Brands in the financial institutions category that were less exposed to the credit crisis enjoyed healthier growth in brand value."
The mind melts at the power of such searing insight. ®
Our thanks to the good folks at MacDailyNews  for tipping us off to this steaming load of codswallow.