The top four most valuable brands in the world are technology companies, according to a new study conducted by Millward Brown, with Google displacing Apple for the No. 1 spot.
Apple slipped to No. 2, followed by IBM and Microsoft in the annual Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study.
Apple, which held the top slot for the previous three years, saw a 20 percent drop in brand value year over year, according to the study, to $148 billion, while Google’s brand value spiked 40 percent to $159 billion. The study cites Apple’s much-criticized lack of innovation over the last 12 months, while Google invested large sums into diverse initiatives including mapping technology, wearables, electronic payments and social media.
IBM stood pat at No. 3 with a slight 4 percent drop in value. Microsoft jumped from No. 7 to No. 4 with a 29 percent increase in value.
To no one’s surprise, Amazon was the highest-ranked retailer, at No. 10, with a brand value of $64 billion, up 41 percent from last year.
Other straight tech companies in the Top 100 include Facebook (21), Chinese search engine giant Baidu (25), Samsung (29), Oracle (45), Hewlett-Packard (50), Accenture (55), Siemens (59), Yahoo (69), Twitter (71), Cisco (72), LinkedIn (78) and Intel (86).
LinkedIn and Twitter appear on the list for the first time.
Other ranked brands with ties to CE include U.S. telecomm companies Verizon (11) and T-Mobile (27), and retailers including Walmart (22), The Home Depot (40) and eBay (61).
The complete report is here.