By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
September 15, 2011

The Apple logo is now worth $39.3 billion according to Brand Finance

Microsoft MSFT is down 9% to $39 billion. Google GOOG is up 9% to nearly $48.3 billion. But Apple AAPL is way up — 33% — to overtake, for the first time, Microsoft, IBM IBM , Wal-Mart WMT and General Electric GE .

Those are the highlights of the interim brand value report issued last week by Brand Finance, a London-based consulting company that specializes in putting a dollar value what you might think is a rather intangible marketing concept.

Overall, the value of the world’s top 100 brands have fallen 2.4% since January, according to Brand Finance, dragged down by the plummeting reputations of financial institutions like Wells Fargo WFC and Bank of America BAC .

As if to prove there’s some wiggle room in these valuations, a competing firm, BrandZ, put the value of the Apple brand at $153.3 billion in May, ahead of Google. (See How Apple became the world’s most valuable brand.)

BrandZ bases its ratings, in part, on a survey of 2 million consumers. Brand Finance uses a more straightforward discounted cash flow technique to arrive at a net present value of a company’s trademark and associated intellectual property.

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