Google takes the brand top spot

Google comes out on top in the latest Brandz Top 100 as big brands consolidate their dominance. A recovering economy helps values of many big brand names soar as they leave the recession years behind.

If the results of the 2014 Brandz list of the top 100 most valuable global brands are anything to go by, then tech companies are currently leaving traditional firms behind in terms of brand worth. A quick glance at the top 5 and you'll see that positions one to four are all tech companies: Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft. Burger chain McDonalds is the only 'traditional' brand in the top 5.

Compiled each year since 2006 by Milward Brown, the Top 100 is measured by taking the financial value of a brand and multiplying it against a measure of brand contribution. The measure is based on interviews conducted with 170,000 consumers across 30 countries covering over 10,000 brands. The extent to which a brands profits are generated by an ability to create brand loyalty is determined by these interviews.

On the 'up' again

All of the top 100 brands are seeing their value increase with a combined revenue of nearly $3trn this year. The reason for this rise is three-fold: increasing consumer confidence, economic recovery and the use of advanced marketing techniques. In fact, the recovery of the global economy has been reflected in the movements of brand value in the last three years of the Brandz Top 100. In 2012, a growth of 0.4 per cent was recorded, increasing to 7 percent last year and 12 percent this year.

A further sign of recovery is the fact that only 18 of the Top 100 brands lost value in 2014, compared with an average of 30 brands each year since the list started. Since the 2008 financial crisis, an average of 31 brands have lost value each year.

Google leads the way

Google's rise in value is one of the biggest, enjoying a 40 percent rise that leapfrogs Apple from it's 2013 second place position. Valued at $158.8bn, the search engine giant takes the top spot for the first time since 2010. Apple, on the other hand, has dropped 20 percent in value ($147.9bn) from last year.

Further down the list, two tech brands made their début this year: Twitter (71st place, valued at $13.8bn) and LinkedIn (78th position, valued at $12.4bn). Amazon have jumped up to tenth place, overtaking China Mobile. The retail website is currently valued at $49.9bn.


One of the big messages to be gained from the results of this Top 100 is that established companies are consolidating their market dominance. This in turn, makes it difficult for smaller firms to breakthrough. Only seven new brands entered the Top 100 this year; the lowest number of new entrants since the rankings were established eight years ago. This will make it very difficult for smaller brands to make their mark in the marketplace.