Brand value is the ultimate currency craved by companies. A valuable brand spurs demand and creates pricing power. Apple sold 78 million units of iPhone in the fourth quarter of 2016. The average selling price was $695. Pricing for chief competitor Samsung was more than $500 less, according to research from Canaccord Genuity. The result: Apple earned 92% of the profits in the smartphone category and has racked up a cash hoard of $257 billion on its balance sheet.