After three straight years at the top, Apple has been replaced by Google as the world’s most valuable brand. That, according to a research firm that compiles an annual list of top brands worldwide.
The latest results from research agency Millward Brown’s 2014 100 Top BrandZ report says Google out-innovated Apple with its various “Google X” initiatives like Project Loon and contacts that measure glucose levels for diabetics. This year’s Top BrandZ report was first spotted by Business Insider.
The firm estimates that Google’s brand value rose 40% over the past year, to $158.84 billion. (115 billion euros.)
In contrast, Apple’s brand value dropped by 20%, to $147.88 billion. Apple had led the BrandZ list since 2011.
Trailing Google and Apple this year were IBM at $107.54 billion, Microsoft at $90.19 billion and McDonald’s at $85.71 billion. Coca Cola, Visa, AT&T, Marlboro and Amazon.com filled out the rest of the top-ten.
“Google has been extremely innovative this year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships,” said Benoit Tranzer, regional managing director of Millward Brown Europe. “All these activities send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google.”
The BrandZ calculates a company’s financial value and brand contribution for the list, which is qualified as an assessment of a brand’s “uniqueness and its ability to stand out from the crowd, generate desire and cultivate loyalty.”