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Google reclaims position as world's top brand

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands has been released.

Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Google has beat Apple to the number one spot, as one of the most valuable global brands.

A 2016 ranking released by marketing communications company WPP and Millward Brown says an increased revenue from advertising, and growth in its cloud business has helped Google reclaim the position.

The brand increased its value 32 percent to $229 billion, while last year's leader, Apple, dropped to number two after declining by -8 percent in value to $228 billion. Microsoft remains at number three, growing five percent to $122 billon, while Facebook and Amazon entered the Top 10 for the first time.

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands data and analysis indicates that this was a stable year for most the world's most powerful brands in the face of global financial pressures, including the economic slowdown in China.

Disruption was the dominant trend, with brands changing the status quo with their offerings in a number of ways, often beyond the use of digital technologies. Brands of all kinds moved to build a multi-faceted ecosystem around the consumer's needs and desires, often by diversifying into new categories. Amazon built its own logistics network using independent contractors, which enabled it to offer flexible and one-hour delivery options, and started producing its own content. Facebook began hosting publishers' original content to keep members active. Starbucks moved into the ecommerce space with a 'tap and go' app, and enhanced its cold drinks and savoury ranges and offered beer and wine to extend its relevance.

CEO of WPP David Roth said, "The brands that thrive, regardless of sector, are those that behave like challengers and adopt disruptor models and mind-sets."

He adds, "They're shaking up other categories with innovation that goes beyond new products or technologies - transforming the way a service is delivered, enhancing the consumer experience or changing a format. The power these brands already hold, combined with the strength of their platforms, is enabling them to quickly and successfully move across sectors."

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2016

Rank 2016 Brand Brand value 2016 ($M) Brand value change Rank 2015

1 Google 229,198 +32% 2

2 Apple 228,460 -8% 1

3 Microsoft 121,824 +5% 3

4 AT&T 107,387 +20% 6

5 Facebook 102,551 +44% 12

6 Visa 100,800 +10% 5

7 Amazon 98,988 +59% 14

8 Verizon 93,220 +8% 7

9 McDonald's 88,654 +9% 9

10 IBM 86,206 -8% 4

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