Microsoft Has A Better Brand Than Apple?

Just yesterday, Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer paid indirect homage to the power of the Apple (AAPL) brand when he said “paying an extra $500 for a computer with a[n Apple] logo on it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in this economy.”

So we’re supposed to believe Microsoft actually has a better brand than Apple?

That’s what CoreBrand’s Brand Power Index tells us. Microsoft comes in as the 54th best corporate brand “in terms of market reputation and awareness.” Apple languishes at 91.

AdAge: As for Microsoft, the company has “lost their way” in terms of message, said Mr. Gregory, citing the tepidly received Bill Gates-Jerry Seinfeld spots. “Recently, they haven’t stood for anything except frustration.”

Oddly, the company generally cited as much cooler than Microsoft — Apple — is hovering 37 spots lower than Microsoft in the CoreBrand ranking, in the 91st spot. That ranking is up, however, from 119th place in 2007 and 128th in 2005. “This isn’t a consumer popularity contest,” said Mr. Gregory of Apple, which has been plagued with rumours about founder Steve Jobs’ health. “It isn’t just about the logo — it’s about everything these companies say and do.”

We question the whole exercise: General Motors beats both companies, at 41.

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