Google is world's most valuable brand
Google has overtaken Apple as the most valuable global brand. This is according to a report from Millward Brown and WPP that saw Google's brand grow 32% to take first place on the 2016 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list.
Apple's brand worth dropped 8% in the past year, to $228.5 billion, seeing it lose the top spot to Google, which had a brand worth of $229.2 billion. In 2014, Google overtook Apple as the top valued brand on the BrandZ list but in 2015 the rankings reversed again. In 2016, Google has once again reclaimed the top spot.
Microsoft remains in third place with a valuation of $121.8 billion. Facebook rose seven places in the rankings to fifth place as its brand value grew 44% in the past year, to $102.6 billion.
Out of the top 10, five brands were technology companies, two were telecoms providers, and e-commerce giant Amazon shot up seven places to take seventh position. Telecoms providers AT&T and Verizon came in fourth and eighth place respectively.
Visa came in sixth place with a worth $100.8 billion. Fast food chain McDonald's was the ninth most valuable global brand at $88.7 billion. Tech giant IBM rounded up the top 10 with a brand value of $86.2 billion.
Millward Brown's report found Google's creation of holding company Alphabet revealed its growth plans and clarified its priorities, which reassured stockholders and helped boost its value.
"Google signalled a future in new businesses, including healthcare, life sciences and augmented reality. Along with new ventures, Alphabet includes a Google subsidiary that holds its core products, such as Android, Chrome, Gmail, Maps and Search," the report says.
Facebook's brand was also boosted by an increase in mobile advertising sales and the release of its first virtual reality headset from Oculus Rift.
Amazon leads the list's "Top 20 Risers", with its brand value rising 59% over the year compared with an 8% increase for the retail category. Chinese brand Huawei was also one of the fastest risers, gaining 20 places to come in 50th place out of the 100 brands listed.
PayPal rose 23 places to 65th place and Accenture rose 13 places to 38th place. Naspers' investment, Tencent, remained steady in 11th place with a brand worth of $84.9 billion.
Millward Brown has been conducting the BrandZ report for 11 years. It says over that time, it has surveyed more than three million consumers in over 50 markets, with over 100 000 brands researched and valuated.
The value of the BrandZ top 100 has also increased steadily over the past 11 years, rising 133% between 2006 and 2016, despite fluctuations during and immediately after the global financial crisis.
Top 10 most valuable global brands:
1. Google: $229.2 billion
2. Apple: $228.5 billion
3. Microsoft: $121.8 billion
4. AT&T: $107.4 billion
5. Facebook: $102.6 billion
6. Visa: $100.8 billion
7. Amazon: $99 billion
8. Verizon: $93.2 billion
9. McDonald's: $88.7 billion
10. IBM: $86.2 billion