Corporate Eye

Apple Steals Top Spot from Google as World’s Most Valuable Brand

In the annual BrandZ rankings of the top 100 brands in the world from Millward Brown, Google has held the top spot for the past four years.

Not anymore.

The 2011 BrandZ Global Top 100 has been released and Apple stole the top spot from Google with an 84% increase in brand value from 2010 vs. Google’s 2% loss of brand value. Click on the preceding link to view the chart of the top 100 brands.

The top 20 brands according to the BrandZ ratings are:

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. IBM
  4. McDonald’s
  5. Microsoft
  6. Coca-Cola
  7. AT&T
  8. Marlboro
  9. China Mobile
  10. GE
  11. ICBC (Asia)
  12. Vodafone
  13. Verizon
  15. Walmart
  16. Wells Fargo
  17. UPS
  18. HP
  19. Deutsche Telecom
  20. VISA

Retail giant Walmart also saw a shift in the 2011 brand rankings. Amazon edged passed Walmart to become the top retail brand in 2011 experiencing a brand value increase of 37% over 2010 vs. Walmart’s brand value loss of 5%.

For the automotive sector, Toyota took back its place as the top car brand on the list after faltering from recalls in previous years.

One of the most interesting parts of the report comes from the biggest brand movers on the list. Facebook entered the top 100 global brands list for the first time in 2011 at #35 and also ranked first in the list of top risers with a 246% valuation increase over 2010 to $19.1 billion.  On another note, of the 11 newcomers on the list of top brands in 2011, almost half are Chinese brands.

On the flip side, the biggest losers in 2011 are Bank of America with a -43% brand value change in 2011 vs. 2010, Nintendo (-37%), and BP (-27%).

On a positive note, unlike 2010 when only four sectors showed brand value growth due to negative economic conditions across the globe, the 2011 BrandZ ranking shows positive brand value growth in all but three sectors (luxury, apparel, and cars) and many sectors have experienced brand growth that exceeds pre-recession levels.

The BrandZ ranking is always interesting. What do you think about Apple’s #1 ranking? Can the brand hold on or will Google come back in 2012? Where will Facebook be in 2012? Only time will tell, but it’s anyone’s game. Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.