Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a series of partnerships have been key to Google’s $US159 billion value.
The brand consultancy said Google’s outcome is indicative of a trend across services companies which are enjoying average brand value growth of more than 40 per cent while those pushing products chug along at 10 per cent.
Apple itself has fallen 20 per cent in this metric after holding top spot for three consecutive years. Product-dominated vendors Samsung, HP and Sony have faced similar fates; Samsung and HP grew 21 and 19 per cent respectively, while Sony dipped one per cent.
Tencent, Facebook, and Baidu on the other hand thrived, with brand values up 97, 68, and 46 per cent, respectively.
Tencent is a Chinese Internet brand and hit the $US54bn mark, granting it 14th place in the Brandz Top 100.
“Digital service brands such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tencent and LinkedIn are now more than just tools, they have become part of our lives,” Millward Brown global Brandz director, Peter Walshe, said.
“They offer new forms of communication that absorb people’s attention and imagination, while also helping them organise the rest of their lives at the same time. To gain more of our mind-space brands such as Google are making ambitious plays across existing category boundaries.”
But while some technology brands are struggling, this remains the largest sector in Brandz Top 100 listing worth $US841bn in 2014.