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Legendary Italian carmaker Ferrari may have topped the list of the world's most powerful brands, but the iconic prancing horse's ability to monetise its desirability pales in comparison to the tech giant Apple.
According to the Brand Finance Global 500, which is an annual study conducted by leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance, Ferrari scores highly on a wide variety of measures on Brand Finance's Brand Strength Index, from desirability, loyalty and consumer sentiment to visual identity, online presence and employee satisfaction.
But whilst Ferrari is the world's most powerful brand, its US$4 billion ($4.8 billion) brand value puts it 350th in brand value terms and well behind Apple which has a US$105b brand value.
"Apple also has a powerful brand, rated AAA by Brand Finance. However, what sets it apart is its ability to monetise that brand.
"For example, though tablets were in use before the iPad, it was the application of the Apple brand to the concept that captured the public imagination and allowed it to take off as a commercial reality," said Brand Finance chief executive David Haigh.
Woolworths was Australia's best ranked brand by value, placing 109th. Australia itself placed 15th among countries ranked by brand value, with the US, Japan and Germany taking out the top 3 positions.
Ferrari is one of only eleven brands including Google, Hermès, Coca-Cola, Disney, Rolex and F1 racing rivals Red Bull to be awarded an AAA+ brand rating and has the highest overall score.
"The prancing horse on a yellow badge is instantly recognisable the world over, even where paved roads have yet to reach," said Haigh.
"In its home country and among its many admirers worldwide Ferrari inspires more than just brand loyalty, more of a cultish, even quasi-religious devotion, its brand power is indisputable."
Whilst Apple has topped the brand value list for the third year running, it's dominance is being challenged by Samsung.
The Korean tech giant's reputation for reliability, a faster pace of innovation and wider range of devices are among many factors that have seen its brand value increase by US$20b to US$79b this year.
Facebook meanwhile has recovered from its problematic initial public offering, which saw its reputation suffer and its brand value plunge in 2013. This year it has rebounded, adding 76 per cent to its brand value to bring the total to US$9.8b, putting it 122nd.
Tech brands in general have tightened their grip on the Brand Finance Global 500. Walmart is the only non-tech brand remaining in the top 10.
- Sydney Morning Herald