Google overtakes Apple to become the most valuable brand in the world


Google is now the most valuable brand in the world. According to global market research agency Millward Brown, Google's brand value increased by 40 percent in a single year to $158.84 billion, edging out Apple's $148 billion, which saw a decline of 20 percent. Google has been making its way up the list steadily after overtaking IBM to take the second spot last year.

Benoit Tranzer, head of Millward Brown France, indicated that Google's foray into wearable devices with the Google Glass and continued investments in the field of artificial intelligence have been pivotal in the growth of its brand value, and that such activities "send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google."

This is the first time in four years that Apple has not managed to retain its position at the summit as the most valuable company in the world in terms of value. Millward Brown's 2014 100 Top BrandZ report also featured other U.S. technology firms like IBM, which came in at third with a brand value of $107 billion followed by Microsoft with a value of $90 billion.

Apple may not be the most valuable brand anymore, but it has fared much better than Samsung, which is positioned 29th on Millward Brown's list with a brand value of $25 billion.

Source: Millward Brown (PDF), Via: CNET

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Harish Jonnalagadda

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Reader comments

Google overtakes Apple to become the most valuable brand in the world


What is being a valuable brand about then? It was unclear when Apple was #1 last year and criteria continues to be nebulous this year too. The quote from the list makers mentions innovation but I don't see how Google jumps way up and Apple falls way down in one year based on innovation. I have a feeling there is some strange marketshare nonsense going on here (i.e., add up all devices in the world and let that dictate a brand's value without looking at important things like customer loyalty, ecosystems, stickiness, repeat purchasing and pricing tiers)

Google likely jumped way up in (perception of) innovation scores because two of its Labs "moonshots" - Glass and self-driving cars - hit the mainstream consciousness big-time the past year, giving people the impression that Google is really pushing towards a sci-fi future, and not without some justification.

Why Apple fell is more of a mystery, unless the relentless "they haven't done anything since the iPad/they need an iwatch or tv NOW" analyst drumbeat is finally taking its toll, or the constant lawsuits in the news have led people to think Apple as a litigator more than an innovator. I thought those were more of a concern to those of us who kvetch on blogs than the general public, but perhaps they have started to seep out wider. Neither one of those is entirely fair, but branding is more about perception than reality.

I assumed that no one (except for us nerds) knew about Glass or self driving cars. I mean there can't be more than 10,000 Glass users in the existence (and I'm sure most of them never used Glass more than once in public) and there are no self driving cars on public roads yet. Maybe it's more about blogs and news coverage than actual public sightings and real world use.

There are plenty of self-driving cars on the road in the states that allow them ( ) just not for public sale and heavily regulated.

But you are right about it being perception. Driverless vehicles and things like Glass have been part of our imagination for years; while neither of Google's efforts are widespread yet, press coverage of them as actually working towards them blew up last year.

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You are missing the point - last year media coverage in traditional outlets (TV, magazines, newspapers) started covering them in earnest, so people who do not get all their news from the Internet got their first exposure to them, and those stories were largely positive.

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Gailey don't try and use common sense logic.

Because even though the ice flows and levels are increasing on the North and South pole, it is too hot somewhere for Al and his legion of foil hat wearing bafoons.

I'm glad to see the competition between Apple and Google. It's good for consumers. I personally don't care what company is the most valuable as long as they keep making great products.

I was surprised to see IBM mentioned. I didn't know they still had such market share.

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Best response I've seen in all of this so far. My goodness. The apple super fans are going crazy on some websites and the Google super fans are going crazy for other reasons on other sites.

How about a huge congratulations to the tech industry for taking so many positions in the most valuable brand categories?

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Let's say you have two identical watches. Slap a google brand on one and apple on the other. Which one would you say is more valuable? This isn't rocket science.

So if Apple was the most valuable brand in the past, is that what kept me from buying their products? If you gave me a watch with the Apple logo and Google's logo on another, I would probably choose neither because logos alone don't do it for me.

I didn't ask which you'd buy. But this task is a bit unfair because it's hardware based. And google is better known for other things. I think you have to take any brand comparison with a grain of salt.

You are correct, you did not ask which one I would buy but rather which one is seemingly more valuable.

A more fair comparison would be to take the same cut of meat and stick a local butcher's logo by it, another with Wal-Mart's, some regional grocery chain and a small mom and pop shop. If nothing was truly "different" about the cuts of meat in terms of size/weight/color/tenderness and you only knew these short of taste would you always say no to Wal-Mart?

Maybe because Google keeps coming up with new toys every min. while Apple on the other side keep changing colors and playing with rectangles..

It's interesting to see the debate here on why one is more valuable than the other... the reality is I have no flippin clue. What I find really interesting, though, is that there is really very little overlap between their product offerings. Sure from the perspective of Mobile Nations you'd think that they're like Pepsi and Coke but the truth of each company is much broader. The calculation of brand value - I'm sure - goes far beyond the scope of topics we are interested in as mobile users. Google, in particular, has far reaching and growing influence in enterprise IT services, automotive, robotics, mapping, and much more. How one figures out value from all that? It's probably like trying to solve a math formula using emotions instead of numbers.

If you look at past ranking of BrandZ, Google was at the top from 2006 to 2009 when Apple leapfrogged from 3rd (in 2009) to 1st in 2010 (over 2nd place IBM and Google).

So it's not the first time Google has been ranked first in this particular survey.

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