May 12

Apple Ends Four Year Reign of Google

After Minneapolis web design and SEO firm, Rocket55 read the recently released Millward Brown Optimor’s BrandZ survey, there was quite a bit of discussion.  Primarily, how Apple ended the Google reign in the number one spot but also how and why brand contributes to a company’s value.

According to the Millward Brown Optimor’s BrandZ survey, Apple ended the four year reign of Google — the internet search leader. Google has been at the top for the previous four years, but Apple’s monumental growth over the past year puts its brand at $153 billion. It has knocked out most technology brands with its success.  Apple‘s portfolio of desirable consumer goods pushed it past Microsoft to become the world’s most precious technology company last year.

Apple, Google, IBM are the first three brands respectively. McDonald’s is the fourth and Microsoft drops down one to fifth. Technology and telecom companies hold six of the top ten spots.  What can be drawn from this is that the rise of technology and telecommunications is amazing and very relevant. Millward Brown’s survey started with two or three tech brands in the top ten in 2006. Now tech brands dominate four out of the top five. It points out how central telecom infrastructure has become to people’s lives.

The study also explains consumer behavior and the importance of brand identity. Our fundamental assumption is that a high proportion of a company’s earnings is due to intangibles. One of the biggest intangibles is your brand. For the top 100 companies, about 30 percent of their total value is bound up in this thing called brand.  Trust and social responsibility were the most important to brand loyalty. The ability to customize the product was another important criterion. Examples cited in the study: Google users can create personal home pages, and Apple iPhone users can customize their phones by downloading apps.

For some companies, branding is everything. Coca Cola has massive brand distribution around the world but without a brand, it’s just this brown fizzy liquid.  A strong brand also reduces business risk, since it’s more likely to ride out a negative PR story or a recession. Last year Toyota fell because of recalls. This year it recovered faster than expected because it has very strong brand loyalty.