LONDON: Google, the online search giant, has retained its position as the most valuable brand in the world, and is now worth over $100 billion (€76bn; £68.2bn), the first such asset to reach this landmark, according to Millward Brown's latest BrandZ Top 100.

Despite the impact of the financial downturn, Millward Brown, estimates that the value of the top 100 brands actually increased by 1.7% to $1.95 trillion last year on an annual basis. (A detailed discussion of its findings is available to WARC Online subscribers by clicking here.)

Microsoft took second place behind Google in the rankings, registering an 8% upswing in brand value to $76bn overall, and was also argued to currently have a greater degree of "brand momentum" than its top-ranked rival.

Coca-Cola was in third, up one place on last year's list, after its net worth increased by 16% to $67bn, boosted both by its growing presence in vital emerging markets like China and India, and the strength of newer brand variants like Coke Zero.

IBM and McDonald's closed out the top five, with companies including Apple, General Electric and China Mobile also all making the top ten.

Among the other major trends from BrandZ 2009 were an increase in the number of entries from Brazil, Russia, India and China in the top 100, and an improved performance by value brands, many of which have prospered in the economic downturn.

WARC subscribers can access a full report discussing Millward Brown's BrandZ 2009 by clicking here.

Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by WARC staff