Google is the most valuable brand on the planet, according to the 2014 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand report by Millward Brown. Google's brand value increased 40 percent last year to $159 billion. Apple, which had topped the list for the past three years, slipped to the second spot as its brand value slipped 20 percent to $148 billion, according to the report.
"Google has been hugely innovative in the last year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a multitude of partnerships that see its Android operating system becoming embedded in other goods such as cars, said Nick Cooper, managing director of Millward Brown Optimor, in a statement. "All of this activity sends a very strong signal to consumers about what Google is about and it has coincided with a slowdown at Apple."
Tech companies dominate the top of the BrandZ ranking with IBM and Microsoft holding the third and fourth spots. Other tech companies on the list include Tencent (14), SAP (19), Facebook (21), Baidu (25), Samsung (29), Oracle (45), HP (49), Accenture (55), Siemens (59), Yahoo! (69), Twitter (71), Cisco (72), LinkedIn (78) and Intel (86). Twitter and LinkedIn made the list for the first time this year.
"The highest-ranking non-tech brand is McDonald's, at No. 5," Oscar Yuan, VP at Millward Brown, told Forbes. "Even in a category as old and traditional as fast food, I'd say they're continuing to do the same (innovating). The fact that they've introduced things like McCafe — which is about taking a minute to savor and enjoy the free WiFi that McDonald's is offering — that changes people's perceptions about the brand. Innovation and change can come in any and all categories."
Amazon was the only company in the retail category to crack the top 10 brands. Walmart (22), Home Depot (40), IKEA (50), eBay (61), Tesco (66), Woolworths (82) and Aldi (100) also made the list.
Is innovation the most important attribute of brand value?