California
03 February 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Google overtakes Apple as most valuable brand


Google has overtaken Apple as the world’s most valuable brand, according to Brand Finance’s Global 500 2017 report.

The brand consultancy said that Apple’s brand value had fallen 27 percent since early 2016 from approximately $145 billion to $107 billion.

Google overtook the company with $109 billion in brand value, a 24 percent increase on its 2016 brand value of $88 billion

Brand Finance said that Apple’s brand value had fallen because it had “over-exploited the goodwill of its customers” and “failed to generate significant revenues from newer products such as the Apple Watch and cannot demonstrate that genuinely innovative technologies desired by consumers are in the pipeline”.

“Apple’s evangelists are beginning to lose their faith. The snaking queues of early adopters have shrunk almost to the point of invisibility.”

“Its brand has lost its luster and must now compete on an increasingly level playing field not just with traditional rival Samsung, but a slew of Chinese brands such as Huawei and OnePlus in the smartphone market, Apple’s key source of profitability.”

As for Google, Brand Finance said it remains “largely unchallenged in its core search business, which is the mainstay of its advertising income”.

“It is perhaps fitting that the brand which enables the world’s biggest brands reach their customers and build their own brand equity (through search and advertising respectively) has itself become the world’s most valuable.”

Despite Brand Finance’s valuation, Apple’s Q1 2017 results showed an all-time record quarterly revenue of $78.4 billion, a $30 billion increase on its Q4 2016 results.

While Google and Apple fight over the top spot, Amazon has crept up in third with a brand value of $106 billion, a 53 percent increase from its 2016 brand value.

Following Amazon is AT&T in fourth, Microsoft in fifth, Samsung in sixth, Verizon in seventh, Walmart in eighth, Facebook in ninth and ICBC at tenth.

Eight out of the 10 top brands are US companies.

Elsewhere, Lego topped the list of the world’s most powerful brands based on Brand Finance’s brand strength index (BSI).

Lego achieved a BSI of 92.7, 0.6 points ahead of the world’s most valued brand, Google.

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