After holding the No. 1 spot for three consecutive years, a recent study of the top 100 most valuable global brands revealed Apple now ranks second to Google.
Commissioned by communications services group WPP, the study conducted by Millward Brown found Google’s brand value has increased 40 percent year-over-year, now worth $159 billion.
Meanwhile, Apple’s value has slipped 20 percent according to the study, with the brand’s estimated value totaling $148 billion.
“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 Millward Brown Optimor managing director Nick Cooper.
The Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands announcement claimed Apple’s decline is based on a growing perception that the company now lacks innovation, failing to deliver any significant product launches in the recent past.
Technology brands made up 29 percent of the total value of the top 100 global brands, with Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft taking the top four spots.
Brandz Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands in 2014
In its ninth year, producers of the study say this year’s list marks the end of the recession:
This year’s index highlights the end of the recession, with a strong recovery in valuations, and for the first time, real growth across every category and the Top 100 as a whole. What is remarkable is the way that strong brands have led the recovery. Seventy-one of the brands listed in our 2014 Top 100 were there in 2008.
According to the study, the combined value of the top 100 global brands has nearly doubled since the first list was released in 2006.
While technology companies lead the list, Millward Brown claims apparel represents the fastest growing category, with the top ten apparel brands growing 29 percent during the last year.
The fastest growing brand was Chinese internet company Tencent, which ranked No. 14.
Facebook was the second fastest growing brand, climbing 68 percent to $36 billion. The world’s most popular social network was just short of breaking the top 20 global brands, ranking No. 21. Twitter came in at No. 71, with a brand value of $14 billion.