Google Replaces Apple As World's Most Valuable Brand

Search and technology company Google has taken a bite out of Apple to become the world's most valuable brand, per Millward Brown. The global market research agency released its 2014 BrandZ Top 100 study Wednesday.

Google's brand value has risen 40% to $158.8 billion. Apple dominated the No. 1 position for three consecutive years, but saw its brand value fall this past year by 20% to $147.9 billion in the latest report.

The top 10 of the 100 slots were dominated by U.S. firms. IBM fell 4%, but remains at No. 3 with $107.5 billion, followed by Microsoft at $90 billion -- up 29%, improving by three spaces.

Facebook's brand value rose 68% to $36 billion -- up 10 spots to No. 21 -- while Baidu came in at No. 25, up 46% at $29.7 billion. Yahoo also grew in brand value by 44% to rank No. 69, and Twitter found a place on the chart for the first time at No. 71 with a brand value of $13.8 billion.

LinkedIn and PayPal also appeared in the top 100 chart for the first time with brand values at $12.4 billion and $9.8 billion, respectively.

Financial companies also dominated the newcomers list. Bank of America, ING Bank and UBS appeared on the list for the first time. The only newcomer car company was Ford Motors.

Overall, the The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2014 added $310 billion in brand value to reach $2.9 trillion, up 12%. The two key factors influencing the growth were technology innovations and consumer confidence, but they also created some challenges in select categories.

Technology dominated the list with nearly a third of the total brand value and around a fifth of the brands, including the top four: Google, Apple, IBM, and Microsoft. In some categories it seemed that customers appreciated the convenience of mobile wallet transactions; and in fast food, were likely to expect it.

Only 18 of the Top 100 brands lost value compared with an average of 31 brands in each annual BrandZ Global Top 100 report since the financial crisis in 2008, per the study. A loss in consumer trust devalued brands. Some include Lululemon, General Motors, and Toyota. Some financial institutions also lost consumer trust.

Millward Brown calculates the brand value on the basis of the firms' financial performance and consumer standing.

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