Google Overtakes Apple as World's Most Valuable Brand

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Is Apple’s repute as one of the world’s most beloved brands beginning to spoil?

A new survey that aims to measure brand value across the globe asserts that the tech giant has finally been superseded by one of its fiercest adversaries, Google.

These findings come care of Millward Brown, a marketing research agency whose ninth annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study culls together 150,000 interviews from consumers, and incorporates other proprietary methods.

In order to be considered valuable, a brand must be "meaningful," "different" and "salient," according to Millward Brown. In other words, they must generate love, set trends and come spontaneously to mind.

All told, consumers irrefutably hold tech companies in high esteem. Google and Apple, for instance, are trailed by IBM and Microsoft in third and fourth place, respectively. But Apple’s drop this year raises questions about whether consumers still perceive the tech giant as a visionary agent of change.

Related: Google: In a Few Years, Ads Will Show Up on Refrigerators, Thermostats and Glasses

In describing Google’s ascent, the report points to the company’s culture of innovation -- particularly long-term research projects regarding artificial intelligence, slowing aging and driverless cars.

“Projects like these elevate the brand, so that it’s viewed as both a commercial and scientific enterprise, practical in its need to generate profit but also generous,” the survey says.

Other notable additions to this year’s list were Twitter and LinkedIn, which made their respective debuts at 71 and 78.

The fastest-growing company was Chinese web giant Tencent, whose value perception appreciated by 97 percent to spot number 14. In terms of overall growth, Tencent was trailed by Facebook, which came in at number 21.

Rounding out the top 10 were McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Visa, AT&T, Marlboro and Amazon. See the full rundown here.

Related: Should You Buy an iPhone 5S Now or Wait For the iPhone 6?

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