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Search firm is most valuable brand

US search engine Google had overtaken rival technology titan Apple as the most valuable brand, global market research agency Millward Brown said yesterday.

Google’s brand value shot up 40 percent in a year to $158.84 billion (R1.6 trillion), the agency said in its 2014 100 Top BrandZ report.

“Google has been extremely innovative this year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships,” said Benoit Tranzer , the head of Millward Brown France.

“All these activities send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google.”

Google Glass is internet-linked eyewear for which the firm has joined hands with Luxottica, a frame giant behind Ray-Ban sunglasses and other high-end brands, to sell the new product in the US.

Apple, which held the top position for three consecutive years, saw its brand value fall by 20 percent from a year earlier to $147.88bn.

The top 10 slots were dominated by US firms. IBM was in third place at $107.54bn, a fall of 4 percent, followed by Microsoft, which rose 29 percent to $90.19bn.

Fast food chain McDonald’s ranked next at $85.71bn, followed by Coca Cola ($80.68bn), Millward Brown said.

China led in the insurance sector with Ping An valued at $12.4bn and China Life at $12bn.

French luxury goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton ranked 30th overall but was the top luxury brand with a value of more than $25bn.

Brand value is calculated on the basis of the firms’ financial performance and their standing among consumers. – Sapa-AFP

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