Google overtakes Apple as the globe’s most valuable brand

Apple is still the king of Silicon Valley in terms of sales. But its image as the most visionary, cutting-edge company in the world may be in trouble.

In the past year, Apple’s brand “value” has dropped behind Google, according to a report by Millward Brown, a research firm. The findings are based on Millward Brown’s methodology, which defines “brand value” as ” the dollar amount a brand contributes to the overall value of a corporation.” The methodology involves looking at a company’s corporate earnings, determining the amount of earnings attributed to a particular brand and projecting the brand value for the future.

The value of Google’s brand jumped 40 percent in value to $159 billion. In contrast, Apple’s trademark value dropped 20 percent to $148 billion.

But Google is only retaking the position it had in 2010, as Silicon Beat’s Levi Sumagaysay noted when the same research group determined that Apple had knocked Google’s brand from the top spot.

Other findings:

  • Twitter and LinkedIn entered the list for the first time at 71 and 78 respectively. Amazon broke into the Top 10 at No. 10.
  • Facebook’s brand jumped 68 percent. The brand value of Tencent, the Chinese social network and Internet portal, grew more than 90 percent.
  • Around a fifth of top 100 brands are technology companies.

Tech’s popularity is because digital services are more than just tools, Millward Brown’s Peter Walshe told The Telegraph. They are part of our lives, he said, adding:

They offer new forms of communication that absorb people’s attention and imagination, while also helping them organize the rest of their lives at the same time. To gain more of our mind-space brands such as Google are making ambitious plays across existing category boundaries.

The top tech brands as determined by the survey.

Photo at top by Patrick Tehan/Mercury News


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  • Dude

    “The findings are based on conversations with 150,000 people worldwide.”
    Are you sure? Conversations with 150,000 people? Sounds quite unlikely.

  • Gary Doan

    They must have excluded China, the world’s largest country, because Google isn’t even in that market. Google is mostly hype with little actual substance. They are an advertising company and they have very few actual customers. Users are not customers, they are the product, Google sells info on them and their habits to advertisers.

    • Codger37

      Yes, from whence we derive almost unlimited spam and pitches. Certainly a very important source of something I won’t say in public.

  • Albert

    Most valuable? I guess the shareholders need to start asking the dividend. A reward for the shareholders.

  • peto1

    What? Millward Brown! That’s my freak’n brother-in-law – now I understand …

  • Codger37

    Amazing, but of those on the list less than a hanfull have delivered on their promise and while Google is a brand, as are Amazon and E-Bay… I don’t find them on any of my top 500 lists. Amazingly I do like some who deliver on the promise and it just so happens that Apple has yet to deliver less than expected, sometimes after a bug got squashed (the antenna). But squash they did. But Air, Pads, MacPro’s, awesome graphics and durability, wow.

    Some of the firms Millwad valued, somehow, or other, have long been on our special, so not patronize or that was last century, they’ve lost their way and one or two I no longer fear. Maybe the questions were about something other than trusted name, products and services? Noise maybe? Hope you got this info free as not worth much but a distraction.