Apple has had to bow down to Google after its three-year run as No. 1 on Millward Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 came to an end. The consumer electronics corporation saw a 20 percent drop in brand value from last year. While Apple fell to the No. 2 spot, Google’s brand value rose by 40 percent from the previous year, placing its overall value at $159 billion. Apple, now at $148 billion in total brand value, was one of the five brands in the top 10 that dropped in rank. The switch on the leader board has drawn a lot of attention, especially as it pertains to Google. Experts have been speculating as to what it was that Google did to take the leader’s position. Some say the answer is found in Google’s innovation and investment in new technologies, an attitude that has inevitably trumped Apple’s mean evolution.
BrandZ is the brand equity database of Millward Brown and has been referred to for the top 100 most valuable brands since 2006. The database compares over 200,000 brands across 31 countries each year to generate its Top 100 list. Other brands in the top 10 of the list included Amazon, which climbed four ranks to secure its No. 10 spot, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Visa, and Coca-Cola. Marlboro also made the top 10 again, however the tobacco giant fell to the No. 9 spot, one lower than last year’s rank.
Though a corporation’s brand value is liable to significant changes from year to year, Apple managed to stay at No. 1 for three years. Oscar Yuan, VP at Millward Brown Optimator, placated some of the curiosity over what might have changed for the brand. He noted the steps that Google has taken to revolutionize information accessibility. For example, Google’s Project Loon that was launched last year worked towards worldwide WiFi by utilizing innovative balloon (in lieu of satellite) technology to experiment transmitting their 3G services. The company that Google invested in for the project, 03B Networks, is a nascent network communications service provider that seeks to provide broadband access to underrepresented areas around the globe.
Yuan claimed that Google’s tenacity to dive into new projects is what set it apart. Even Google Glass, which has—at best—received mixed reviews as far as usership is concerned, was still a step in the right direction for technological advancement. Apple, Yuan observed, was following the same kind of a trajectory when it was the leading global brand. The extent of Apple’s innovation has been reduced to mere evolution as of late. New models of the same technology were not enough to secure the No. 1 spot.
Google seems to be on a fearless quest to explore new avenues of connectability. This thirst for exploration is what some experts are claiming has set it apart and allowed it to take the leader’s position on the BrandZ top 100 list. Apple is by no means dwarfed by the leader, though. Instead, the shift in leadership is telling insofar as it is purported to relate to Google’s recent investments in new technologies. For now, Apple will have to bow down to the new brand leader.
By Courtney Anderson