Is Apple’s App Store a Showcase for Global Brand Popularity?


Dutch-based app store analytics company Distimo has come up with a new publication titled Apple App Store Performance: The 2012 Top 100 Global Brands.

As the title suggests, Distimo has taken into account the fact that most brands are visible in the app stores. The report draws conclusions from the perceived correlation between brand popularity and the number of downloads in the Apple App Store.

A previously published Interbrand 2012 Best Global Brands report that identified the top 100 most valuable brands in the world is used as a reference. Majority of the new findings are derived through statistics gleaned from the United States Apple App Store during September 2012.

The table below shows the brands with the maximum number of apps available in the US app store during the analysis period.


Apps in September 2012

Interbrand’s brand rank

Apps in September 2011





















The bar graph below indicates the number of downloads per app in proportion to the number of downloads of YouTube, which was found to be taking the lead.

clip_image002A number of interesting points have been drawn in conclusion from Distimo’s data:

  1. Out of the ‘top 100 best global brands’ that were analyzed, only twelve do not have an app in the Apple App Store. These twelve include three direct competitors of Apple: Nokia, Nintendo and Blackberry.
  2. Apple, Disney, Facebook, Google and eBay generated the most downloads during the period.
  3. Not all brands from the earlier worldwide top 100 list are globally successful in the App Store. Certain brands like Gap, Johnson and Johnson, Harley-Davidson and Pampers register app downloads mainly in the United States.
  4. GE is identified as a ‘truly global brand’ for app downloads, since it fares well on the brand value list, at number six, and due to the fact that their apps are downloaded very evenly across countries.

Distimo’s choice for Apple’s App Store for their analysis of global brands is based on it being the largest app store for an operating system, with more than 700,000 unique apps worldwide.

The presence of an app in the App Store is either part of a marketing campaign to build brand visibility or to make money through paid apps, explains the firm. The success of apps used to promote brands is found to be smaller compared to those built to address a specific need.

The most successful of the promotional apps, the IKEA Catalog, has enjoyed less than 10% of the number of YouTube’s downloads.

The study concludes that the most valuable brands do not necessarily register the most downloads in the App Store, with Google and Apple being the only exceptions.

One of the most remarkable highlights of this study is the runaway success of Google’s YouTube app, which was launched on September 11, 2012, coinciding with the eve of iPhone 5’s launch.

The standalone YouTube app is said to be superior to the preloaded app that earlier came bundled with Apple’s iOS software – accessing channels is quicker and the search autocomplete is impressive. The YouTube app generated more downloads in 20 days than the rest of the top brands’ apps in the entire month.

Another highlight of this study was the download pattern of “Temple Run: Brave”, the only paid app in the list. It is interesting that 90% of this app’s downloads happened during the period it was available for free, reconfirming the trend that even the most high-end of the online population prefers not to pay for things obtained online.

[Source: Distimo]

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