Google has usurped Apple as the world’s most valuable brand in Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ study of global brands. This comes after the survey had named Apple the top brand for the past three years.
Apple’s brand value fell 20 percent year-over-year to $148 billion, due in large part to the company’s well-publicized recent lack of innovation. Google, on the other hand, has kept throwing money into a number of different initiatives including mapping, wearables, payments and social media to up its brand value 40 percent, representing $159 billion.
The big question for Apple, according to Millward Brown, is whether Apple is still redefining technology:
“I think the world is looking at Apple as a brand that created an Earth-shattering revolution, and I think that has slowed down a bit,” said Oscar Yuan, vice president at Millward Brown Optimor. “The fact that [Google] doesn’t see themselves contained in one sector is really a testament to their boldness and willingness to try new things.”
“Google has knocked Apple off its perch after three years at the top. Apple is performing well but is it still redefining technology for consumers?”
“Google has been organizing the world’s information and putting it at your fingertips. Even to things as aggressive as GoogleX—they are making WiFi available globally by putting satellites tied to balloons over the earth. [That kind of innovation] does enormous things for the brand—it’s seen as a making-dreams-come-true-type company, and that certainly helps their brand value,” Yuan said. “They made a lot of press this year with Google Glass–bringing together the world of apparel with the world of technology—that’s potentially groundbreaking. Google continues to deliver on bringing to consumers and the business world things they’ve never seen before and things they’ve never imagined were possible. That shows in their brand value.”
The report looks at the top 100 brands across the food and beverage, technology, automotive, retail, beverage, financial services and luxury verticals.
IBM, the leading global business-to-business brand, retained its No. 3 position with a brand value of $108 billion. Meanwhile, Microsoft clocked in at No. 4, up significantly from its seventh place positioning last year.
Other tech giants on the list include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook’s value shot up 68 percent year over year to reach $35.7 billion, while both LinkedIn and Twitter entered the ranking of top 100 brands for the first time this year.Twitter generated a brand value of $14 billion, claiming the No. 71 spot, while LinkedIn grabbed the 78th spot at $12 billion.
While “brand value” studies can be difficult to compare, because of the use of differing methodologies used by those who gather the data can lead to much different results, they can be a good look at marketing and branding trends.