updated 11:58 am EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Google Glass, partnerships among cited reasons
Google has replaced Apple as the world's top brand, according to market research firm Millward Brown. In the company's latest annual Top BrandZ report, Google's brand value surged 40 percent to $158.84 billion. "Google has been extremely innovative this year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships," writes Benoit Tranzer, the head of Millward Brown France. "All these activities send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google."
Prior to 2014, Apple held the top spot on the BrandZ chart for three years in a row; this year it dipped 20 percent to $147.88 billion. It's followed in rankings by IBM ($107.54 billion), Microsoft ($90.19 billion), and McDonald's ($85.71 billion). Microsoft, notably, rose 29 percent, while IBM slipped 4 percent.
Millward Brown calculates brand value by weighing financial success versus popular perception. Apple, Google, and Microsoft have all come under fire in the past year for privacy issues, particularly their collaboration in some instances with spying by the US National Security Agency.