Apple tops Google to become world’s most valuable brand

Apple has overtaken Google as the world’s most valuable brand, according to a study from brands agency Millward Brown.

The company’s brand alone is now worth $153 billion, it says – almost half the company’s total market capitalization.

Google’s held the top spot for the last four years, and has also seen its brand value grow by nearly 300 percent since 2006, compared with just 64 percent for the top 100 as a whole.

“The contrast between Apple and Google is even more interesting because of the very different models the two companies espouse. Google is the archetypal internet brand, with free services and open systems. Premium-priced Apple eschews the open model in favor of what Steve Jobs refers to as an ‘integrated’ model,” says executive vice president and chief global analyst Nigel Hollis.

“One thing is for sure, the integrated approach does help Apple maintain the consistency so important to a strong brand. Whether it is a Mac, iPod,iPhone or iPad, the design and interface of Apple products is familiar and easy to use.”

Another big change, says Hollis, is that Amazon has overtaken Walmart to become the biggest retail brand.

“Again, this change reflects a seismic shift in the world of business and brands,” he says. “Back in 2006, Walmart was the 6th most valuable brand and Amazon the 78th. Today, Amazon is worth $37,628 million, narrowly beating Walmart to 14th position in the ranking.”

Of the top ten companies listed in the report, six were technology firms. As well as Apple and Google in the top two slots, there’s IBM at number three, Microsoft at number fove, AT&T at number seven and China Mobile at number nine.

Facebook languishes at a relatively lowly number 35, with a brand valued at $19.1 billion.

The report’s available here.