Google surpasses Apple as world’s most valuable brand, we feign surprise



After 3 years dominating the #1 spot in BrandZ’s “Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands” rankings, the king has just been dethroned. According to their 2014 rankings — published today — Google is now the top dog after growing a whopping 40% from last year and carrying a brand value of $159 billion. Apple? Well, they’re still doing quite well for themselves occupying the #2 spot and declining 20% to $148 billion.

According to Millward Brown Optimor VP Oscar Yuan, it’s Apple’s lack of innovation and ground breaking new products that has lead to their decline, creating products that are merely evolutionary and no longer revolutionary. As Apple stagnates, Google on the other hand — with their Google X Labs ventures — is constantly moving forward. Look no further than ground breaking new products like Google Glass, Project Ara, self driving cars, and their WiFi balloons — is there any question how, or why Google took over Apple’s spot?

Brandz Global Top 100 brands list

It’s all these things combined that helped Google climb the ranks of BrandZ’s latest report. We’re sure this merely a shadow of things to come. Apple better stop counting their billions, get out of the courtroom and back to creating the products that put them on the map. Question is without Steve, can they do it?

You can check out BrandZ’s infograph here.

Thanks, JmaxKu!


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. “Apple better stop counting their billions, get out of the courtroom and back to creating the products that put them on the map.”

    Yes! I think the last Apple event I was genuinely excited for was the iPhone 4. More competition is better for us consumers.

    1. I think the reason many people hate on Apple is cuz they’ve grown complacent, overcharging for the same uninspired crap. Overcharge for new, good crap, and I’ll welcome the competition.

      Like honestly, how you gonna still charge and arm and a leg for a Macbook Air with a sub 720p display? It’s 2014 for goodness sakes. -_-

      1. I’m very curious to see what they have to offer in the new larger iPhones. With a larger screen, finally, and a more open OS they may retake the top spot. Choices, choices, choices. Consumers appreciate more choices and it’s almost the same song every iOS iteration. Closed off and little to customize. Can I hook up and transfer files to and from my PC without using iTunes? Can I have better access to files on my iDevice? How about some widgets?

        It just seems like with many aspects of their products they just prefer to keep things extremely similar for the sake of brand recognition rather then innovate, change things up and look different.

        1. I’m curious if any of these rumored larger iPhones will have the same dimensions of a remote control or if they’ll actually widen the thing out a little bit.

          1. Ha! Wow, just keep going longer and thinner? That would be terrible. I was holding my buddy’s old iPhone 4S the other day and I couldn’t believe how small it felt in my hand compared to his HTC One. It’s just not a practical size any longer.

          2. I’ve always felt like I could crush apple stuff into powder just because of how small it is in my gorilla hands.

        2. I sincerely hope millions of people don’t flock (back) to Tim “I’m-not-as-much-of-a-douche-as-Jobs” Cook’s arms after the “big” iPhone is released. Even if they do, though, it’s their (shortsighted) choice for deciding to abandon Android and it’s enormous potential.

      2. Not until they introduce iPhablets and the iWatch later this year. Apple will bounce back up regardless of their high prices. What’s Google introducing major this year?

        1. Android Wear(this is a definite while the iwatch is still a rumor)
          Google Glass has been opened up to practically anyone in the US who wants it
          They just bought Nest and will likely be pushing that
          And if you want to look into early next year:
          Ara(expected January)
          Silver(Expected February)

          Google ain’t going nowhere

          1. I don’t think Google is claiming any credit for Nest…after all they had to buy it….and now I hear they are putting Ads on it…great…just what we need…more ads.

          2. A great deal of Google’s products are things they bought, so buying Nest is no different than anything else they bought(Youtube, search, etc) And when you say you heard they are putting ads on it, I’m assuming you read some mindless drivel of an article that was panicking about Google putting ads on it and you didn’t bother to examine the source material for where that complete non-story came from.

          3. Google didn’t buy search that is their original and main business.

          4. Why shouldn’t they take credit for it? They own it. Nest is now part of Google. Should Apple not take credit for Siri? After all, they bought it. Should Microsoft not take credit for Kinect? After all, they bought it? All of the technology behemoths buy smaller technology companies to take their technology and assimilate it into their own technology.

        2. iPhablets and iWatch are just Apple catching up. Apples is going to need something more than gimics like Siri and a fingerprint scanner. Since Steve Jobs left the company, Apple has failed to innovate and the Job’s distortion field to at least give the impression they are innovating is gone. They lost the technology leadership role to Google and I think that is why Google’s brand is more valuable.

          1. I disagree on your “catching up” comment. Once companies heard Apple was thinking about an iWatch they ran out to try to be first to market and thus far have sub-par crappy watch devices (i.e. Galaxy Gear). I don’t think there’s any denying that Apple does make quality products, they’re just growing stale and boring. iOS hasn’t really changed since its inception…

          2. The Galaxy Gear is excrement.

          3. No one stays on top forever….anyone who thinks any one company stays at the top of these lists forever has not been around that long.
            Most likely the company that will be on top in 20 years time has not even been created yet….so stop fanboying and start developing. Stop riding the coat tails of a big company like for some reason their win is your win.

      3. “they’ve grown complacent, overcharging for the same uninspired crap” – Tell us how you really feel Chris.

      4. +1

        Throw in people hate them for their closed minded, arrogant attitude; usually lead by their pompous leader.

      5. that’s why i say Samsung and apple are the same pushing out the same crap. even the users act the same. i even heard a Samsung user say their galaxy was better than android. i was like your galaxy runs android dumdass.

        1. Haha, and that is a great example of why Google wants companies to put “Powered by Android” on their boot screens. Even if people don’t reboot their devices very often, it’s very likely they will see it the first time they turn them on. I think that change alone will help boost the value of Android over all, which helps the value of Google too.

          1. This is also why the OEMs will fight that…because once they start doing this…then all the value goes to Android and they a simply perceived as dump hardware companies that are interchangeable. OEM’s fear Google for how they are slowly pulling all the control and value from them.

      6. Agreed.

        1. I disagree on your “catching up” comment. Once companies heard Apple was thinking about an iWatch they ran out to try to be first to market and thus far have sub-par crappy watch devices (i.e. Galaxy Gear). I don’t think there’s any denying that Apple does make quality products, they’re just growing stale and boring. iOS hasn’t really changed since its inception.

      7. How about NOT overcharging for either the old unspired crap or the new good crap? How about making good products for the common man instead of the wealthy?

      8. Because people will buy it, and when they don’t, that’s when they will give you the same displays like the competition …but at a price

      9. No HD was already unbelievable years ago on a laptop (and on mobile devices, for that matter). My gaming laptop has a 1920X1200 HD display and I bought it in mid-2009. It’s an old beast but that display, though.

      10. You have to remember that Apple design/test/build the OS level as well…crappy companies like ASUS/ACER,etc simply build their computers from off the shelf components and install someone elses BIOS/OS….this is why they charge so little…coz low R&D and also low brand value.

  2. This isnt a surprise. People are starting to see where the best technology is.

    1. It may not be the case of better technology, rather more choices which most consumers appreciate. With iOS devices I feel so constrained inside a small ecosystem with little say in how they behave or look.

      With iOS it’s business attire everyday. With Android it’s casual Friday everyday. You feel free, more comfortable, more creative. If that makes any sense.

  3. Yet Google’s consumer trust compared to Apple has went dramatically down at the same time.

    1. Says a guy on the internet…

    2. IS that why android has almost an 78% market share of smartphones to apple’s declining 17% world wide?

      1. That was last year, things are even worse this year for Apple.
        Android 81% iOS 12.7 % on smartphones. Android is biggest on tablets too and as a single company Samsung past Apple in April on tablet sales as well.

        1. Market share is easy to gain…if Apple wanted to gain market share they could easily shave off 30% off their price…but would that really make an of Apple employees or shareholders any happier.
          Googles business strategy requires large mark share because they need to skim tiny profits off of billions of devices and ad clicks.
          Both companies are still growing in sales and market share….interesting to see what happens in next 5 years when the mobile and tablet market is saturated.

      2. Just clarifying I do not really care who has what market share….but I do not think Apple is complaining as long as they keep increasing their sales on a quarter-by-quarter basis…and that is what they have been doing…they have never stated they want majority market share. One company controlling majority market share leads to companies like Google and MS where they start to take liberties with consumers. Fanboys help those companies get to those positions and when they achieve that market share they are very hard to budge…even now MS is still king of the desktop.

    3. I think the majority of the people that don’t trust Google are the ones that are complaining on the internet. That is likely a very small sample compared to the larger group of people who use Google’s products. People who don’t read tech blogs and don’t search for Google related hashtags, most likely haven’t notice this so called mistrust. As a tech enthusiast, I still favor Google over other companies.

    4. Swings and round-a-bouts….who cares…one day one is up…next day one is down…who really cares.

  4. Good job google. It deserves it. Apple never did.

    1. i wouldnt say never. Their iphone.ipad did kind of popularize certain segments

  5. This just in:Apple to sue Google for violating their “patent” on being the world’s most valuable brand. Judge Lucy Koh to preside over hearings. Experts expect a ruling in Apple’s favor of $5.5 billion and 1 cent…just enough to put Apple back on top

    1. Lucy Koh might not rule against Google. If you look at the cases, the company that was located in the country of the lawsuit (or location) usually prevails. Google and Apple are both Silicon Valley companies. It might cause her brain to explode.

      1. Apple headquarters has the words “Made in China” engraved on the back of the building.

        1. Yeah….but designed in California…..and luckily for the country….some companies are able to ensure all the true value remains in design and innovation and not in the manufacturing which really first world countries cannot compete with third world labour costs.

          1. Please tell me you’re not calling China a third world country

          2. “third world labour costs.”

            China does have third world labor costs, and a majority of the population live and work in third world conditions.

  6. Didn’t Google+ tarnish their brand value quite a bit? Or is it that so few people actually know what it is and hardly care, making the many anti G+ people blow things out of proportions?

    The reactions to them buying Twitch made it seem like people dislike Google….or does this list have nothing to do with whether people like the brand?

    1. The anti G+ people are basically the apple fanboys, who publicly bash Google but secretly use all their service. I mean seriously Google+ isn’t that annoying and you can pretty much opt out of it.

      1. a lot of people on this site claim to hate G+ though, never understood what all that was about. I like Apple products and I like google services, use them almost exclusively

        1. The smart people pick and chose the products they need to make their lives better/easier/get them laid…whatever…the stupid ones only pick and choose based on brand name.

          1. I agree. I chose apple because it suits me now. Down the road it might be android. Fanboyism is stupid. Although never heard about someone getting laid due to a brand lol

      2. A lot of Google employees use Apple products. These people…even though they work for Google…are not as stupid as the stupid fan boys….and that goes for all stupid fanboys whether they be Apple, Google. MS, Samsung, yourself, etc, etc.

        1. I wouldn’t consider myself a fanboy, I own products from every major manufacturer including Apple(iPod touch 5G and iPad air). I don’t buy something based on a cool factor or trend, I buy based on my needs. I still think they make the best mp3 players and their iPads are more reliable than most android tablets. I won’t buy a macbook though lol, simply cause for the same price I can get more SSD storage, more HDD storage, More RAM(16 GB at 1866 compared to Apples 4-8 at 1600), top of the line Nvidia 880m, i7-4790HQ, slim profile the size of a dime (MSI g60 ghost), and windows 8.1 is one of the fastest operating systems out right now with more support than any other. I do also dual boot Mac OS for development. You pointed out that some Google employees use Apple products? Yes but they don’t bash on Apple. What I was saying is that Apple fanboys are constantly bashing Google but secretly using most of their services which is true. Theirs a difference between Google fanboys and Google employees you know lol. Apple has no services outside of the iOS ecosystem so you don’t really see it happening as much with Microsoft or Google fanboys.

      3. But there is the fact that you have to opt out of it. It should be strictly opt in, rather than forcing it on us, and requiring us to go through the effort of opting out, which is actually not an easy thing to do. Youtube harasses me about not using G+ every time I sign in.

    2. are you kidding? Google+ gives me infinity unlimited storage for all my standard sized photos and 1080p videos under 15 minutes…….. for FREE…. you can’t beat that…….. that has actually increased their brand value for me tremendously! nobody else does this for free, and gives me an easy way to organize the albums, and an easy way to share albums the way that G+ does it.

      1. I know, I love it too, but the internet in general seems opposed to it for some stupid reason :P

        1. Most of us have just been irritated about how they try to force people into using it. I have a G+ account, but I never signed up for one, wanted one, or even touched mine. But they created it for me anyway, and now they are trying to force me to use it in order to continue using their other products.

      2. I love Google and all, but I would be VERY careful with relying on them for storing things like that. Google is known for shutting down services with VERY little notice. Be ready for a scramble to download all of that content if they randomly decide to kill off G+. They have shut down products like it before.

        1. their first attempt at social media “Google Buzz” got shut down and replaced with Google+……… Google+ is a finished product, and there is slim to zero chance it’ll get shut down. usually the ones that get shut down are the ones majority of people dont even know about. storing your albums in google+ is way better than storing them in facebook from a usability and ease of use standpoint.

    3. I love Google and all, but I would be VERY careful with relying on them for storing things like that. Google is known for shutting down services with VERY little notice. Be ready for a scramble to download all of that content if they randomly decide to kill off G+.

  7. Nooooo your holding the phone wrong

    1. You’re*

  8. Google is indeed a valuable brand to me and I personally don’t rate Apple but obviously others do but I don’t understand how these rankings are worked out; they sight Apple’s lack of innovation for dropping 20% yet Coca Cola have increased 3%. The only time Coca Cola have innovated was the all new Coca Cola which was a disaster (despite Classic Coke actually turning things around but that was a happy accident).

    1. now ur comparing tech to soft drinks! success in a soft drink market doesnt necessarily demand innovation. tech is a very fast growing market and it helps a company standout to do things first!

      1. I’m not comparing them, Millward Brown is by putting them in a list. I was just using those examples to illustrate that I think how the list is composed isn’t clear. I do understand the differences between the different types of companies but doing things first isn’t just an advantage for tech companies this is a universally good thing to do. Assuming its accompanied with the right marketing and its not something ahead of its time or its a wasted opportunity.

        1. The list is for most valuable global brands. the innovation remark was in regards to two tech companies competing in the same space not a measurement for the companies listed.

          1. I understand what you are saying but it says “…it’s Apple’s lack of innovation and ground breaking new products that has lead to their decline…”. This is stating lack of innovation as a factor. My only point was saying this seems a weird measure of a companies global brand value however obviously it’s not the only factor in its value. I clearly didn’t express my opinion very well and guess you will not be the only person to not understand my perspective. With this I resign from this thread, have a nice day :)

          2. i do understand what ur saying and i hope i dont come across as being a smart @$$. I just took the article as explaining the change in the top two positions (two companies competing) and giving the difference in what the two companies are doing currently. I thought that the article was saying in regards to google jumping apple was partly looked at because google has a large portfolio of new projects were apple is just competing in existing markets. again didnt mean to come off negatively. you have a nice day also!

    2. Actually….please remember that this brand value….an accounting term to put value on the brand itself…which actually can appear on a balance sheet as an asset. So you could look at it this way….it is not actually a good thing to have such a high % of your market cap attributable to the brand recognition because it means the rest of your products are not attributing so much to the overall market share.
      Coco-cola for instance has very high rand value because after all…it only sells lolly water….if the brand value goes down it means people will stop buying your products….so high brand value is a positive and negative.
      I could go on but you get the gist of it.

  9. Wasn’t Apple’s Lawsuit factory supposed to convince everyone of the superiority of Apple? It doesn’t seem to have done that. Maybe Apple’s research labs can come out with an improved litigation strategy or something that will reverse this downward trend of Apple’s brand. It does seem that Apple is lacking in innovation. Maybe they need some fresh new lawyers to bring in new creativity that will lead to more innovation and boost Apple’s brand image.

    Apple could boost their image if this year’s WWDC will bring an announcement of a new improved lawsuit campaign.

    1. Well they’re not exactly doing bad, they’re second in the world after all.

    2. Man the litigation jokes have expired. Not really funny anymore

      1. Maybe not funny. But still relevant.

        1. Nup….not relevant….quite boring

          1. It is relevant as long as there are ongoing lawsuits. It is relevant to anyone negatively affected by Apple’s litigation campaign, which means every Android user, or every user of a device from a manufacturer Apple is targeting in a lawsuit.

            If you use Android then it IS relevant to you whether you recognize it or not.

            It is even relevant to people who are potential Android users.

            The only way you can say it is not relevant is because you want to hide or downplay what Apple is doing.

  10. 158 vs 147, let’s not lose our heads here.

    1. About 40% increase vs 20% decrease. Lets lose heads on that

      1. Yeah…because for some reason global brand value of two global companies somehow makes a difference to your life……keep barracking…hope your team wins.

  11. Anyone else surprised to see a tobacco brand in the top 10?

  12. Apple has been on a slow and steady decline since they lost Jobs.

  13. “Feign?”


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