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Monday, February 25, 2013, 08:17 am PT (11:17 am ET)

Apple takes top spot in British business brand survey, second in consumer brands

Apple grabbed the top spot among "superbrands" as rated by business professionals in the United Kingdom and took the number two slot as rated by consumers, according to a new survey.

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On the business-to-business end, Apple placed at the top among global brands, ahead of British Airways, Google, Visa, and Virgin Atlantic, according to Superbrands. Apple fared just about as well in terms of UK consumer brand perception, coming in at second, just behind Rolex, but ahead of Microsoft, British Airways, Coca-Cola, and Google.

Each year, the Superbrands surveys gauge brand perception among both business-to-business brands and consumer brands. Superbrands, the organization administering the surveys underlying the reports, defines a Superbrand as one that has "established the finest reputation in its field. It offers customers significant emotional and/or tangible advantages over its competitors, which customers want and recognize."

Superbrands' organizers see the consumer results as reflecting overall perceptions of the strength of the economy.

"As consumers remain unsettled and fearful over what feels like endless economic doom and gloom," said Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the Superbrands Expert Council, "it is perhaps no surprise that we are turning to reassuringly familiar brands that we have known throughout our lives."

For the Business Superbrands survey, the group asked just over 1,900 business professionals about their brand perceptions. The Consumer Superbrands survey asked more than 2,900 British adult consumers their impressions on thousands of brands. Only the top 500 brands in each survey were deemed to be Superbrands.

Beginning with the iPod, Apple's "brand power" has grown to considerable heights not only in the United Kingdom, but around the world. The Cupertino iPhone maker was named the top consumer brand in Japan for the first time in March of 2012. Brand consultancy firm Interbrand in October named Apple the second most valuable brand behind perennial champion Coca-Cola. Yet another survey last year found that Apple's brand is worth $183 billion, up 19 percent from 2011.