Google has replaced Apple as the world’s most valuable brand in the latest ranking published by global market research agency Millward Brown. The U.S.-based search engine saw its brand value jump 40% in one year to $158.84 billion, while rival technology company Apple, which dominated the top spot for three consecutive years, saw its brand worth dip 20% to $147.88 billion.
Google owes its number one ranking in this year’s study to Google Glass, various investments in artificial intelligence, and new partnerships it entered in to over the past year, Nick Cooper, managing director of Millward Brown Optimor, commented.
Other major tech brands that made it to the top 10 of the agency’s Top 100 BrandZ report include IBM, which occupied the third position with a brand value of $107.54 billion, and Microsoft, whose value was measured at $90.18 billion. Next was McDonald’s, followed by Coca Cola and Visa. AT&T, Marlboro, and Amazon were the remaining three brands completing the top 10.
As a whole, the brands included in this year’s chart had a combined value of $2.9 trillion, up 12% from last year. This was nearly double the figure registered in 2006, when the first ranking was compiled, and 49% higher than in 2008, when the global financial crisis began.
All categories monitored for the 2014 report witnessed an increase in brand value, with apparel companies scoring the strongest improvement, at 29%. Ten of the 14 segments even registered double-digit growth rates in their brand worth, which is a sign that brands have already moved beyond recovery to enter a period of growth, Millward Brown commented.
Half of the brands included in the Top 100 ranking were from North America, with all top 10 brands originating from the United States. Together, these 50 brands accounted for two-thirds of total brand value.