Apple Tops Google to Become World's Most Valuable Brand

Tech giant Apple (AAPL) has blown by Google (GOOG) to become the world's most valuable brand, according to branding research firm Millward Brown. The iPhone and iPad maker saw its brand value rise 84% to $153 billion since the 2010 survey. Google's $111 billion value dropped 2% over the same period.

Other companies that made the list included IBM (IBM) at $101 billion, McDonald's (MCD) at $81 billion, Microsoft (MSFT) at $78 billion, Coca Cola (KO) at $73 billion, AT&T (T) at $70 billion, Marlboro at $68 billion, China Mobile at $57 billion, and GE (GE) at $50 billion.

The fastest growing brand value on the list was Facebook's which rose 246% to $19.1 billion.

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The study, which is called the Brand Z report, uses a "black box" methodology so it's not clear what all of the factors are that contribute to how a company's brand valuation is determined. What we do know is that Millward Brown takes into account each company's earnings.

Does Apple's valuation make sense in comparison to Google's? Perhaps it does based on what the public can see. Apple certainly has larger sales and profits. Its market cap is also higher than Google's. To top it off, Apple's stock has risen 38% in the last year while Google has remained nearly flat.

Like other brand valuation surveys, Millward Brown's latest survey does leave many unanswered questions about how the conclusions are drawn. But we'll still offer a big congratulations to Apple.
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