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Apple Topples Google As World's Most Valuable Brand

According to Millward Brown's 2011 BrandZ study Apple has become the world’s most valuable brand overtaking Google which had four years at the top.

The study has also shown that more and more BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) country brands are becoming part of the top brand elite club. Seven of the eleven newcomers are from BRIC. Although the top 8 brands are US based, China has 12 companies in the top 100 now.

Amazon has outdone Wal-Mart thus becoming the most valuable retail brand. Amazon’s brand value went up by 37% reaching 37.6 billion dollars while Wal-Mart’s value dropped by 5% to 37.3 billion. One could say that Amazon’s rise, together with Tesco’s and Carrefour’s’ brand drop shows that the market is shifting to e-commerce. Eileen Campbell, global CEO of Millward Brown says that part of Amazon’s success could be explained by its user review site section that has helped users build trust in the brand.

As for Apple’s success, Ms. Campbell said that the tablet and smartphone sale growth had led to brand value gains. Google, despite of the success their OS, has seen their brand value drop by 2%. She mentioned that the Google drop might be due to investments in mobile platforms and in Chrome, and added that the fact that Google no longer operates in China affected only 2% of the company’s revenue.

BlackBerry’s value dropped by 20% last year because they were unable to provide the market with new products as the competition did.

Facebook was the fastest growing brand; their value went up by 247% to 19.1 billion dollars. Search engine Baidu came second with a 141% increase (22.6 billion dollars) because of Google’s exit from the Chinese market.

The brand value for financial players increased by 9% on average and 15 of them had a double digit increase. For instance Wells Fargo’s value went up by 97% reaching 36.9 billion dollars.

McDonalds’ brand value went up by 23% reaching 81 billion dollars and it is now the 4th global brand. Ms. Campbell says that had happened because consumers were preferring to eat cheap food.

In the beverage brand competition, Coke was the number one (an 8% increase, reaching 73.8 billion dollars) beating Budweiser ($15.9 billion) and Pepsi ($12.9 billion).

L’Oreal had an 11% increase, while Gillette dropped by 4% (to $ 19.7 billion) and they were nearly outrun by Procter & Gamble.

Millward Brown’s BrandZ valuations are created using brand-equity and financial data information and they are similar to the manner in which investment banks value brands.