For the second time in three years, Google is the world’s most valuable brand, according to the latest BrandZ ranking compiled by marketing research firm Millward Brown.
In its annual report ranking the top 100 global brands, Millward Brown, a subsidiary of advertising giant WPP, ranked the Alphabet-owned Google (GOOG) ahead of Apple (AAPL), marking the second year in a row that the two tech giants have swapped the top two spots on the BrandZ list. Released this week, the ranking takes more than 100,000 global brands into consideration and brand value is based on a combination of financial performance, including revenue and profitability, and interviews with more than three million consumers.
According to the latest BrandZ ranking, Google’s value increased by 32% year-over-year to hit $229 billion, while Apple’s value dropped 8%, to $228 billion. Google parent company Alphabet’s share price is up more than 36% over the past 12 months on increased ad revenue, while Apple’s stock has been in flux this year due to investor concerns over disappointing iPhone sales. Millward Brown notes in its 2016 report that Alphabet and Google made inroads with investors last year by laying out a clear plan for the future while investing in sectors such as healthcare and life sciences, as well as continuing to develop autonomous driving technology.
Millward Brown reports that the top-10 brands on its list collectively increased their value by 133% over the past decade, including a 3% uptick in the past year to reach a total of $3.4 trillion. Tech companies have come to dominate the top-10 more and more in recent years, representing four of the five highest-valued companies on the list. Telecom AT&T (T) the one outlier in that group, which also includes Microsoft (MSFT) at No. 3 and Facebook (FB) in fifth place. And, the top-five does not even include Amazon (AMZN) (ranked seventh on the list), which saw the greatest year-over-year increase in value, rising 59% to almost $99 billion.
Credit card services giant Visa (V) comes in at number six on the BrandZ ranking, while Verizon Communications (VZ) and McDonald’s (MCD) round out the list.