Google’s four-year streak as the world’s most powerful brand has come to an end — not through any fault of its own, by instead due to the tremendous growth of Apple’s brand value. That’s according to Millward Brown Optimor’s top 100 BrandZ annual rankings.
The research company found Google’s brand value to have slipped just 2% in 2011, to $112 billion. Meanwhile, Apple’s value rose 84% to $153 billion, boosted by the latest version of the iPhone, the creation of the tablet category with the iPad, and expectations of a broadened strategy.
Microsoft, steward of the Bing brand, came in at number five in the rankings, with an brand value pegged at $78 billion. The company’s brand value rose 2% as compared to last year, according to the BrandZ researchers. Facebook entered the BrandZ top 100 for the first time, coming in at number 35 with a 246% increase in brand value to $19.1 billion. Chinese search engine Baidu also showed a dramatic surge, growing its brand value by 141% and ranking as number 29 with its $22.6 billion valuation.