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It seems like every couple of weeks, a new study comes out telling us who the most valuable brand in the world is based on various metrics. The winner changes from time to time, but I’d guess more times than not in recent years, it’s been Apple.

That’s not that case, however in the latest study. Marketing research firm Millward Brown is out with its annual BrandZ study this morning, and after sitting at the top for 3 years in a row, the iPad-maker has been usurped by Google for the #1 spot…

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 companies from Millward Brown’s report (via BusinessInsider):

brandz chart

“Google has been extremely innovative this year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships,” said Benoit Tranzer, the head of Millward Brown France.

Google Glass is Internet-linked eyewear for which the firm has joined hands with Luxottica, a frame giant behind Ray-Ban and other high-end brands, to sell the new product in the United States.

“All these activities send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google,” Tranzer said.

The study points to a 40% increase in Google’s value this year, up to $158 billion from $113 billion in 2013. Apple’s brand value, on the other hand, declined 20%—a move that Millard Brown believes signals a lack of innovation by the Cupertino firm.

Other tech companies saw significant change this year in ranking. Microsoft jumped to the #4 spot with a 20% increase, and Facebook climbed to #21 thanks to a 68% increase in its brand value. Samsung also grew, moving up to #24 with a 21% jump.

Again, it’s worth noting that this is just a single report. In fact, Apple has taken the top spot in other recent brand studies, all of which use different metrics than Millward Brown. The data does, however, provide a fair top-down look at current trends.

  • David Gitman

    We’ll have just to wait for iPhone 6, and then apple is back 😉

    • Kenrick Fernandes

      I’m a huge iphone fan myself. But i hardly see innovation coming to the iphone 6. If apple decides to increase the screen size and call that innovation, then sorry..!! that isn’t. They are planning to bump up the screen size with a few under the hood processor and bump up the ram. I know it will sell in millions but ………

      • N&LH

        “But i hardly see innovation coming to the iphone 6” How did you know that?. Apple might have new innovations not only for the iPhone but could be for other products.

      • Ara Rezaee

        I agree screen size is not innovation. But in the Smartphone business Apple is the only innovative company… On the surface they made Retina screens, double tone flashes, 64-bit processors, decent fingerprint scanners not to mention the iPhone itself and many more, they also made an awesome environment for the programmers to make great apps both API and Language wise. Android makers only copied Apple and on some occasions made improvements

      • Your Mother

        Truly sad, but if that’s what makes you feel good then oh well.

      • White Michael Jackson

        innovative is the wrong word. apple didn’t invent those things, they just market extremely well.

      • Marcus

        The orginal iPhone was the innovation that everyone copied, then it was the iPad that everyone copied. I think you are looking for a new product as each phone they make is an improvement. They’re not going to make it make your toast for you.

      • N&LH

        Can you tell what is the WOW in other smartphones? All companies do the same thing every year.

      • Your Mother

        This year 2k displays, last year 1080p, year before that 720p. Next year 4k.

        Then there’s cameras, new materials, screen sizes, pixel densities. Biometrics, the list goes on and on.

      • N&LH

        Apple can go with higher res when they give the iPhone a bigger screen.

        You mentioned “Then there’s cameras, new materials, screen sizes, pixel densities”, I don’t know what do you mean by new materials, in regards screen sizes and pixel densities, both belong to screen res. For Biometrics, Apple introduced Touch ID in iPhone 5S.

        ” the list goes on and on”, can you complete your list?

        I have question for you, Is is worth it when Samsung increased screen size of S5 to 5.1 from 5 inch?

        Remember Apple was the first brought higher pixel densities. They have not increased that because of the screen size.

      • Your Mother

        new materials like the self healing materials of the LG phone as well as the flexible display that it and Samsung have.

        apple did not introduce biometrics., the Motorola Axtrix had a fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy S3 and S4 have iris tracking/control.

        If I had the Galaxy S4 then I probably would have skipped the S5 but I had the HTC One and hated it so for me to go back the the S5 is a blessing. next year when the S6 comes out it will have a 2k display and 500+ ppi but I dont run out and buy a phone for spec bumps but only if it has enough features that I want.

        I had the S2 then the note so I never had the pleasure of using the S3 and I only skipped the S4 because the One was $50 less and came with 32gb instead of 16 plus beats audio, higher ppi and the nice design.

        apple did go big with ppi but that was in 2010 which is like 15 years ago when it comes to mobile technology but since the iPhone 4 apple has had zero new ideas as witnessed by the 18 month wait for the 4S only to get essentially the same phone.

        as for that list that goes on and on. he was talking about “wow features” in Android phones. there have been hardware and software across all manufacturers. we’ve seen HTC’s ultra pixel camera, beats audio with 2 massive front facing speakers that destroy the sound of any phone bar none. (Android already supported 7.1) Samsung’s dual camera feature which is really really nice. the erase feature, sound shot, moving object shot–all of which are note found outside the Galaxy line,

        my point about on and on is how EVERY month, every month–there’s something new in Android, a phone, a tablet a wearable, always something all year long not limited to one product each year whose only addition is either a very very minimal bump in specs OR–my favorite, the intentional withholding of a feature so they can include it in next year’s model. exmaple. iPad mini without retina, next year with and the one coming next will have only the fingerprint scanner. the iPad Air, no fingerprint scanner but they’ll include it in this years model.

  • Ara Rezaee

    I’m sad too see this but I really don’t understand this system! Apple sells millions of iDevices + a bunch of macs but Google sells nothing they live on advertising. Now they are more valuable than Apple? I am not getting this!

    • SI

      You don’t understand because you are ignorant and are unaware of all of Google’s innovative research, ventures and acquisitions

      • Ara Rezaee

        I bet Sony has had more innovation than McDonald’s, Why aren’t they in the top ten?
        —————-
        Please don’t call people names for no reason, its childish… I don’t mind but its sad… really…

      • Kenrick Fernandes

        Because… this study is not based on inventions alone. If you really want to educate yourself then please check the Milward Brown website and see the top 10 criteria each brand is evaluated on. I have been in the research field for a couple of years already and i’m speaking from experience.

      • Ara Rezaee

        I didn’t claim it is based on innovation, that other dude did and I pointed out his mistake. Pointless comment since I agree with you on this!

      • Rowan09

        You don’t know the criteria so don’t act as if you do. Every tech company does acquisitions and have innovative products they are working on or in their pipeline.

      • N&LH

        Can list them ?

    • Kenrick Fernandes

      The study of these brands is not based of who sells more. It’s based on what people think of brand and how often the brand is ‘top of mind’ of the consumer. Now when you look at apple when they released the iphone 5 which was good enough, then what? They released ios7 and the iphone 5s. Which created moderated buzz but yet went onto sell millions right? But on the other hand Google has been in the news for variety of reasons. Self driven cars, KitKat, Glass and few more bunch of things. It’s based on a whole bunch of thing.. this study i mean. Based of on customer service, technology, etc.

      • Ara Rezaee

        Ah so “people” think Marlboro is more valuable than say Samsung…

      • Kenrick Fernandes

        Your comment is baseless and has no connection. If someone asked you which brand comes to the top of your mind, are you going to say Malboro? Really..

      • Ara Rezaee

        You said and I quote: “The study of these brands is not based of who sells more. It’s based on what people think” if you look at the list you see Marlboro on the 9th spot but Samsung is not in that list. I know for a fact that that Marlboro is not on top of anyone’s mind… so yeah…

      • Kenrick Fernandes

        Again read my comment below, top of mind happens to be one of the criteria. Please take a look @ the other 9 criteria. Also i’m not really sure what Marlboro is into apart from cigarette, so i’m in no position to speak about the brand.

      • Rowan09

        Obviously these companies must sell to be on the list. You can’t say a company is on your mind but no one buys their products. Sales is also a part of the equation. You mentioned KitKat? Come on. Google is most likely on top because of all it’s recent acquisitions (twitch, etc), Glass and YouTube. Without YouTube Google would not be number one.

    • ExRoot

      Are you serious?. You think Google still lives on advertising?

      • Rowan09

        They do check their balance sheet, it’s 90% of their business. Everything they do is to promote advertising (YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Glass, etc).

  • Rowan09

    It’s sad to see Marlboro on the list, especially with cancer at an all time high.

    • Robin Keanu Keim

      Same thing with McDonalds.

      • Hyr3m

        And Cocacola…

  • @dongiuj

    And cue the excuses.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    In terms of data gathered on individuals yes Google is extremely valuable but they still don’t have the largest database of active credit cards…

  • Maxim∑

    Millard Brown can say what he wants. Most of us who follow Apple know they’ve been doing a lot lately in the background and will hit the market hard this fall

  • Your Mother

    Cry me a river comments below. Lmfao.

  • Hyr3m

    I was just saying it was sad that Coca Cola is up there… not just for the Coke brand but also for all the other soft drinks…