Apple emerged as the most valuable brand globally after a Millward Brown study valued it at £116.6 billion (US$183 billion). While Apple sits firmly in top spot, the study placed Microsoft in 5th with a reported value of £48.9 billion ($US 76.7 billion), less than half of Apple’s purported worth.

Contrasting Millward’s findings, a separate study carried out by Interbrand shows results that vary greatly, putting Apple’s worth at a lowly £21.3 billion (US$33.5 billion), almost half of Microsoft’s assessed value at £37.7 billion (US$59.1 billion).

Allen Adamson, managing directing of WPP, which commissioned the Millward Brown study, told The Wall Street Journal that a brand’s value is both art and science. “It’s simple in theory but hard to pin down in reality. It’s really about how much would a consumer pay for a caramel-colored soda versus how much they would pay for a Coke,” said Adamson.

The significant differences in figures can be put down to the different models used by both companies. Millward Brown adopts various models that include total economic value, brand contribution and brand risk. Interbrand on the other hand studies financial performance over five years, role of brand and brand strength, reports Techno Buffalo.

In essence, the companies are studying similar attributes but owing to their own in-house modelling, the numbers can differ.