After many years of trailing Google, today Apple finally became the world's most valuable brand. This according to the BrandZ index which determines how brand value contributes to earnings, the value of intangible assets, and measures how customers percieve brands. They also estimate the brand's potential for growth...and Apple is off the chart.
In a nutshell, if you are a marketer - take note and share this with the rest of your executive team: Apple's brand is worth about 1/3 its total market cap. Carefully cultivating what the world thinks about your company can be just as important as how you run your business.
Take a page from Apple and help the world see why your brand is important: brands are life preservers. When in doubt, customers struggling to figure out what to buy often simply go where the crowd goes. It's one of my secrets of Apple marketing: people don't buy products, people buy what other people have. Great brands help wield that transformational power.