Google Tops Apple On ‘Most Valuable Brand’ List

Google saw its brand value jump 40 percent as Apple's fell.

Annette Shaff /

The 2014 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand analysis has declared Google the most valuable brand in the world, pushing Apple out of that top spot for the first time in three years.

According to the report, which is conducted by Millward Brown and commissioned by WPP, Google’s brand value went up 40 percent last year to $159 billion, while Apple saw its brand value drop 20 percent to $148 billion. Adweek attributes Apple’s fall to “the company’s well-publicized recent lack of innovation.” Meanwhile, Google has been on a tear with things like Google Glass, the growth of Android products and other innovative products.

CNN playfully points out that the report will “change virtually no minds in the tech world’s long-running battle of fan loyalty.” But it may put an exclamation point on all the buzz about Apple needing a new product (or two) to get its brand mojo back on track.

There’s word that Apple is working on a new smartwatch and is seeking out partnerships to develop a new television product. In another outward looking move, the company is also said to be in talks to buy Beats Electronics, makers of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, in part to get a bit of its cool back. (Billboard has some theories here about why that deal hasn’t closed yet.)

Rumor has it the new iPhone 6 will have a bigger screen (perhaps a little more Samsung Galaxy sized) at 4.7 inches. Other rumors say there could be a version with an even bigger 5.5 inch screen. The upcoming versions of the iPhone and iPad could also have Touch ID.

And finally, there’s talk that Apple is working on a smart home platform in time for the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2. Google’s purchase of Nest was its big push in this area.

“As companies look for opportunities to expand smartphones’ reach, home automation is seen as one of the new markets for growth,” says CNET.

So Apple took the hint about the need for a brand refresh even before Millward Brown came out with its report about its slipping level of prestige. Of course, people will be looking for the big reveal that will change the game the way Apple did with the iPhone and iPad. Do you think these developments will provide that?

Rounding out the top five on the BrandZ list are IBM (down four percent with a brand value of $144.9 billion), Microsoft (up 29 percent to $90.19 billion) and McDonald’s (down five percent to $85.7 billion).

Image Annette Shaff /