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Report: Google is again No. 1 in brand power

The search engine firm tops Microsoft and Apple

By Linda Rosencrance
April 21, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - For the second year in a row, Google Inc. topped the list of the 100 most powerful brands in the world, beating out Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc., according to a report (download PDF) released today by market research firm Millward Brown Optimor.

Google is worth $86.1 billion, up 30% since last year's report was released, the firm said. The results of the report were based on financial data as well as on interviews with more than a million consumers worldwide.

The combined value of all brands in the top 100 increased by 21% from $1.6 trillion in 2007 to $1.94 trillion in 2008, more than double the increase experienced the previous year.

General Electric Co. came in second at $71.4 billion, followed by Microsoft Corp. at $70.8 billion.

"This year's brand ranking demonstrates the importance of investing in brands, especially in times of market turmoil. Strong brands generate superior returns and protect businesses from risk," said Joanna Seddon, CEO of Millward Brown Optimor, in the statement. "Our data shows that strong brands continue to outperform weak ones in terms of market share and share price during recessions."

Apple Inc., valued at $55.6 billon and Nokia at $43.9 billion moved up the list into the Nos. 7 and 9 spots, respectively. (Last year, Apple was in 16th place and Nokia was in 12th place.) IBM, with a value of $55.3 billion, came in at number 6 and China Mobile, valued at $57.2 billion took fifth place.

Twenty-eight of the top 100 firms are technology related, including Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Intel, Dell and BlackBerry. The technology sector, including mobile operators, outperformed all other categories in this year's ranking, growing at $187.5 billion. That was more than half of the total 21% increase among the 100 companies, according to the report.

According to the report, innovation and brand experience drove growth in the technology category; strong technology brands included consumer companies like Apple and Google, but also software, B2B and professional services firms.

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