Infegy, a provider of social media intelligence technology, analysed more than 800 brands and drew on billions of online conversations from last year in compiling The World's 50 Most Popular Brands of 2014.
Google, the internet giant, claimed the top spot for the second year in a row thanks to volume of conversations, positive sentiment and overall passion for the brand.
Entertainment brand Disney was ranked sixth overall but with an overwhelming 86% positive conversations it led in positive brand sentiment.
At the other end of that spectrum were broadcast networks CNN – which registered the most negative brand sentiment: 52% negative, 41% positive, and 7% mixed feelings – and Fox, where the equivalent figures were 52%, 42% and 6%.
Social media sites Twitter and Facebook took second and third spots overall, with Tumblr in fifth and YouTube in ninth.
Tech firm Apple rose to fourth place, thanks to a peak of chatter in September and October when the iPhone 6 was launched; but total conversations were down 32% compared to 2013, said Infegy.
Tech firm Microsoft, carmaker BMW and sportswear brand Nike rounded out the top ten.
The biggest overall gain came from restaurant chain Chipotle which moved up ten places to number 30, while carmaker Chevrolet saw the biggest decline, dropping 13 spots to number 46.
There were five newcomers to the list, led by Flappy Bird, the only game present, while FitBit saw the highest purchase intent at 36%, highlighting the emerging trend of wearable tech and how important fitness integration is for these devices.
"As the popularity of online and social brands gains momentum, this report shows how the world is changing and how a new generation is interacting with and responding to brands," said Justin Graves, CEO and founder of Infegy.
"Marketers will need to make adjustments to their campaigns and initiatives in order to strategically reach consumers in a positive and engaging manner," he added.
Data sourced from Infegy, Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff