Google overtakes Apple as most valuable brand, according to report

Google is now the world’s most valuable brand having toppled Apple off its perch, according to the latest report from Millward Brown.

The two companies swapped places in the 2014 iteration, with Apple finishing second well ahead of IBM in third. Microsoft (#4) and McDonald’s (#5) completed the top five.

The report, now in its ninth year, collects results based on 150,000 interviews with consumers worldwide. And despite the competitive nature of the top 100 chart, the report found that brand values went up across the board in a satisfying year – the global top 100 added $310bn in value, to reach a whopping $2.9tn overall. Only 18 brands lost value in this year’s index, compared to an average of 31 in previous reports.

Tech companies comprised the top four positions, but only occupied six of the top 20 with Tencent (#14) and SAP (#19). The biggest riser in the top quarter was another tech firm, Facebook – up 10 places to #21.

As for other social networks, Chinese social site Tencent was the biggest riser overall, whilst Twitter and LinkedIn both joined the list for the first time in this report, coming in at #71 and #78 respectively. These were also the two highest new entries, ahead of Ford (#84) and Bank of America (#94).

According to the report’s executive analysis, there were two trends pushing forward brand value: technology innovation and customer confidence. This also presented challenges, particularly in the retail sector, for whom bigger brands “scaled back their portfolios of locations.” The concept of showrooming, where consumers research products in-store and buy online is prevalent, of course, but its bricks-and-mortar equivalent, webrooming, is also gaining traction.

Back in September, Interbrand’s global index placed Apple at the top spot ahead of Google, with Cupertino ousting Coca-Cola ensuring the first time the soft drinks manufacturer hadn’t hit top spot. IBM and Microsoft, just as in the BrandZ survey, were in the top five. In the latest report, Coca-Cola finished sixth.

You can find the full report here.

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