Making worldwide headlines about pulling out of China has not compromised the value of the world’s leading brand—Google Inc.
Google was named the world’s most powerful brand out of a list of 100. The award marks the fourth consecutive year for the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet giant at the top, with a 14 percent year-on-year increase in its brand value, to $114 billion.
The 100 brands to make the 2010 BrandZ Top 100 list combined are worth over $2 trillion, and their values have grown 40 percent over the last five years, outperforming the stock market and other economic indicators.
Although it is debatable whether a brand’s value impact outweighs the importance of revenue and profit margins, it does provide some insight into the competitive edge and overall sentiment about the companies, ranging from business risks to recruitment, and retaining employees.
“In the past, many companies were quick to cut their marketing spend during a down economy,” said Joanna Seddon, chief executive officer of Millward Brown Optimor. “A new trend has emerged in the wake of the recession as more companies realized the importance of maintaining and even increasing budgets to support brand loyalty and engagement.”
High profile social networking site Facebook did not make the cut in the overall top 100 on the Millward Brown list, despite being the fourth-most visited site in the United States, toppling Google’s position in January to become the top U.S. site by total number of Web pages viewed.
The brand value of Facebook was $5.5 billion, according to Peter Walshe, a director at Millward Brown. Dominance of Facebook’s brand has been established, but the weight of its financial influence was yet to be confirmed. So the social-networking powerhouse was ranked at the bottom of the top 20 on the Technology sector list, with Google listed as the leading brand in this subcategory.
According to Millward Brown, a company which specializes in advertising, marketing communications, media, and brand equity research, "technology brands demonstrated their pervasiveness in our daily lives. … Use of social media was a key trend across many of the successful brands."
Apple Inc., the No. 3 brand on the list, gained a 32 percent year-on-year rise in brand value to $83 billion. This result is likely to be attributed to the proliferation of its iPhone, along with the tablet computer iPad also resulting in its share price soaring to 90 percent in the first quarter.
Toyota’s dented brand inevitably took a blow to its rank due to its global recall debacle, with its brand value dropping 27 percent. However, Samsung made the largest leap by increasing its brand value by 80 percent predominantly due to its mobile phone and popularity in the HD and 3D television technology.