NEW YORK: Internet giant Google has overtaken Apple to be named the most valuable brand in the US, according to the latest rankings of America's top 500 companies.
Despite having to weather ongoing criticism about its placement of customers' ads, Google has ended Apple's five-year reign as the most valuable brand in the US, according to strategic consultancy Brand Finance.
Based on a range of factors used to assign a company's brand value – including marketing investment, familiarity and sustainability – Brand Finance valued Google at $109.47bn, up 24% from last year's valuation of $88.17bn.
Meanwhile, Apple saw its brand value fall 27% over the same period from almost $146bn to $107.14bn in this year's study as it was reported to have failed to maintain its reputation for transformative technology.
Along with Google, e-commerce giant Amazon was another big winner this year, having seen its brand value grow 53% since early 2016 to $106.39bn.
Brand Finance noted that Amazon has started to take its grocery service overseas for the first time this year and also plans to create 100,000 jobs in the US over the next 18 months.
"Such confidence suggests that, with a brand value only fractionally behind Apple and Google already, Amazon could easily become the most valuable brand in the US and the rest of the world in 2018, provided it can establish a more emotional connection with consumers," the report said.
Facebook's brand value continued to accelerate over the past year, Brand Finance confirmed, as it valued the social media network at almost $62bn, up 82% since last year.
However, it warned that globally Facebook has been outdone by China's biggest tech brands, such as Alibaba (+94%), WeChat (+103%) and Tencent (+124%).
Elsewhere, Coca-Cola saw its brand value decline 7% to $31.88bn, placing the beverages firm 16th in the rankings. This represented a significant fall from its heyday in 2007 when the company was Brand Finance's top brand with a valuation of $43.1bn.
"Increasing concerns over the links between carbonated drinks and obesity have begun to undermine what the Coca-Cola brand has represented for over 100 years," the report noted, as it also identified a similar trend in the fast food industry.
Brand Finance said the brand values of McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Subway and Domino's all fell since last year as they faced heavy competition in an increasingly fragmented market as well as the emergence of healthy challenger brands.
That said, the overall outlook for America's top 500 brands looks positive and their combined brand value now exceeds $3 trillion, up 11% since 2016.
Along with Google, Apple and Amazon, the top 10 most valuable brands in the US also includes AT&T, Microsoft, Verizon, Walmart, Facebook, Wells Fargo and McDonald's.
Data sourced from Brand Finance; additional content by WARC staff