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Steve Cook and the rest of the Cupertino gang at Apple are off their collective game, or so it would appear. Having once been declared the most valuable brand in the world, that honor now belongs to Google, as determined by Millward Brown, a global research agency specializing in advertising, marketing communications, media, and communications. In a new ranking of the top 100 most valuable global brands for 2014, the Mountain View firm supplanted its Cupertino rival.
The way Millward Brown figures it, Google's brand is worth $158.84 billion. That's a significant 40 percent jump compared to Google's brand value last year. Meanwhile, Apple's reported brand value dropped 20 percent year-on-year to $147.88 billion. In doing so, the two companies traded the top two spots.
"Digital service brands such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tencent and LinkedIn are now more than just tools, they have become part of our lives. 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," Peter Walshe, Global BrandZ Director at Millward Brown, told The Telegraph.
IBM took the No. 3 spot at $107.54 billion, followed by Microsoft at No. 4 ($90.18 billion) and McDonalds at No. 5 ($85.76 billion). Technology-based firms accounted for half of the top 10 spots, the other two being AT&T at No. 8 ($77.83 billion) and Amazon at No. 10 ($64.25 billion).
You can view the full list here (PDF).