Corporate Eye

Google Takes Back Top Spot from Apple as World’s Most Valuable Global Brand

google droid robot on apple ipadThe 2014 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands ranking has been released, and Google came out on top, bumping Apple from the top spot which it stole from Google in 2011. Google’s brand value is estimated at $158 billion, an increase of 40% over 2013. Apple’s brand value in 2014 was reported at $148 billion, a decrease of 20%.

Technology brands dominate the 2014 list in terms of brand value dollars, and technology and financial brands dominated the list of newcomers to the 2014 list (Twitter, LinkedIn, Bank of America, PayPal, ING Bank, and UBS, in addition to Ford, were this year’s newcomers).

Across all categories, the top 100 global brands experienced a 12% increase in brand value over 2013, and collectively, they are currently worth $2.9 trillion. Even more interesting, the overall brand value of the top 100 global brands has increased by 98% since 2006. Here are a few key results from the BrandZ report:

  • The value of the top 100 global brands grew by 12% to $2.9% over 2013 (an improvement over the 7% increase reported in 2013 over 2012 results).
  • The stock market value of the top 100 global brands has appreciated 81.1% since 2006, which is significantly better than the 44.7% increase of the S&P 500.
  • The apparel category had the most growth between 2013 and 2014 (29%).
  • Only 18 brands on the list lost value.
  • The fastest rising brand is Tencent (up 97%), the Chinese social network and internet portal, followed by Facebook (68% increase).
  • Brands in Continental Europe increased more than any other region (19%).
  • Most brands on the list are North American (more than half), and North American brands are responsible for two-thirds of total brand value on the list.

Top Global Brands

The top 10 global brands according to BrandZ are (follow the link above to view the full list):

  1. Google: $158 billion
  2. Apple: $148 billion
  3. IBM: $108 billion
  4. Microsoft: $90 billion
  5. McDonald’s: $86 billion
  6. Coca-Cola: $81 billion
  7. VISA: $79 billion
  8. AT&T: $78 billion
  9. Marlboro: $67 billion
  10. $64 billion

Top U.K. Brands

The BrandZ report also ranks brands from specific regions of the world. The top 10 brands from the United Kingdom based on brand value come from six categories: telecom, global banks, oil and gas, retail, luxury, and apparel. Here they are:

  • Vodafone: $36 billion
  • HSBC: $27 billion
  • Shell: $19 billion
  • BT: $15 billion
  • Tesco: $15 billion
  • BP: $13 billion
  • Barclays: $10 billion
  • Standard Chartered: $9 billion
  • Burberry: $6 billion
  • Next: $6 billion

This is the ninth year that the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study has been conducted by WPP and Millward Brown Optimor. The rankings are based on both financial data and extensive quantitative consumer surveys.

Image: Roshan Vyas

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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+.