Google has regained its position at the top of the table in the 2016 BrandZ’s Most Valuable Global Technology Brands ranking, released by WPP and Millward Brown.
This sees the company overtake Apple on the back of a 32 per cent increase to hit a brand value of £229.2 billion. Apple stands at £228.5 billion, down eight per cent from its 2015 value.
The report stated that Google has thrived as a result of continual innovation, increased revenue from advertising, and growth in its Cloud business.
In contrast, it stated that Apple tends to follow a trend of bi-annual surges of innovation along with keeping this pipeline secret. This, combined with the lost momentum in sales for the Apple Watch as well as the lack of a new market-defining handset, is reflected in the 2016 valuation for last year’s top spot.
Microsoft came in third, retaining its position from last year. The company reported a brand value of £121.8 billion, up five per cent from last year.
Facebook came in fourth, but for the second consecutive year, was the technology brand that rose the fastest in the BrandZ Top 100, growing 44 per cent to £102.6 billion, a value that pushed it into the top ten for the first time.
The report said this was because it added new features, Disaster Alert and live video broadcast to its community platform, as well as attracting new publisher content. It is also proving highly successfully in monetizing the move to mobile, attracting significant spend via its mobile ad platforms.
IBM was ranked fifth, while Tencent, SAP, Baidu, Accenture, and HP were ranked sixth, seventh, eighth. ninth, and tenth respectively.
However, in overall, it has been a less than triumphant year for the tech sector.
After 2015’s 24 per cent rise in total value for the Top 20 tech brands, 2016 has seen just a six per cent rise. As a rule, hardware companies performed less well with new areas such as wearables, watches and IoT yet to deliver either financial or brand benefits.
One company that defied the hardware-service divide is Huawei, which first entered the list last year. Coming in at number 13, it showed 22 per cent growth to £18.7 billion. Another success story that is indicative of future trends is Netflix. It has been listed in the tech Top 20 for the first time (at number 19) with a brand value of £9.2 billion.
Millward Brown global BrandZ valuation director, Elspeth Cheung, said there is a clear imperative for tech brands to showcase their innovation pipeline both in order to convince consumers that they are working to change their consumers’ lives but also allow investors to anticipate future growth more accurately.
“With complex supply chains, secrecy is no longer possible and Google has benefited from its corporate restructure which allows it to better showcase the innovations beyond its core search business,” Cheung said.