Google has overtaken Apple as the world’s most valuable brand, according to a new survey.
As per Millward Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, Apple’s brand value fell by 20% in the past year to just under $148 billion, while Google’s value increased by 40% to $159 billion.
“Google has been extremely innovative this year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships,” says Benoit Tranzer, regional managing director of Millward Brown Europe. “All these activities send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google.”
Rounding out the top ten are IBM, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Visa, AT&T, Marlboro, and Amazon.com. Technology brands dominated the top positions, and also showed fastest pace of growth in brand value across the board. “Digital service brands such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tencent and LinkedIn are now more than just tools, they have become part of our lives,” says Peter Walshe, Global BrandZ Director at Millward Brown.
So what’s wrong with this picture?
Perhaps nothing. After all, none of the brands named are all that surprising — and Millward Brown certainly isn’t the first party to suggest that Google is outstripping Apple in innovation, if not necessarily on execution.
However, I’m always interested to see the methodology behind these brand value surveys, since much of the time they’re seemingly based on some fairly wacky metrics — like the study which based brand value on the royalty rate a company would presumably charge for letting you use its branding.
In the case of Millward Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, value is based on a company’s financial value and brand contribution, qualified as an assessment of a brand’s “uniqueness and its ability to stand out from the crowd, generate desire and cultivate loyalty.” There’s also something about “
Sure, it’s interesting — but don’t start unloading your AAPL stock just yet. At least not until a more decisive study can be done: like sticking an Apple and a Google logo on the floor and seeing which one a dog will go toward, or counting how many times you can say each company’s name within the space of a minute.
Then we’ll know for sure whose brand is worth more.