Google bumps Apple as most valuable brand, but Lego most "powerful"

Google's brand value rose by 24 percent a year ago (from $88.2 billion to $109.4 billion) while Apple's brand value declined almost 27 percent (from $145.9 billion to $107.1 billion), according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 report.

In a sign of the times, tech-related brands dominate the most valuable index with Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and Facebook among other companies included in Global Finance's rankings.

Google had last held the top spot in 2011, according to Brand Finance, which bills itself as a leading global brand value authority and strategy consultant.

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Google moved up a notch to second place, with a value of Dollars 94 billion, up 27 percent from a year earlier, while Samsung dropped to third place, with a value still up 2 percent to USD 83 billion. Google is "unchallenged" in its search business, the firm says, which is at the heart of its advertising income. Dropping five spots, Disney was hurt by the fact its most successful films of the year were produced by sub-brands such as Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar. "Put simply, Apple has over-exploited the goodwill of its customers, it has failed to generate significant revenues from newer products such as the Apple Watch and can not demonstrate that genuinely innovative technologies desired by consumers are in the pipeline", the report noted.

Alibaba jumped 94% to be ranked the 23rd most valuable global brand at $35 billion, while Tencent surged 124% to 47th place at $22 billion, and WeChat increased its value 103% to $13 billion to take the 100th spot. The firm's brand value was estimated at $18.5bn (£14.8bn).

Released yesterday, Global 500 ranks companies according to monetary value and the power of their brand.

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"Unvalued brands can lead to undervalued companies that are more vulnerable to takeover, struggle to secure adequate financing and miss market opportunities", Mr. Haigh said.

Coming in third is Amazon.com Inc. Meanwhile, HP (HPQ) lost 60 percent of its brand value, the biggest percentage loss of any company on the list.

Payment service providers Visa (57) and Mastercard's (110) brand value grew by 81% and 58% respectively in 2016, as their core markets continued to move towards a cashless society and become increasingly reliant on the two companies' services.

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