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Apple vaults past Google to top Japanese brand survey

Apple is the leader in Nikkei's brand survey, edging out Google, which was last year's top consumer brand in Japan.

Apple's retail store in Ginza Tokyo, one of seven stores Apple has in the country.
Apple's retail store in the Ginza area of Tokyo, one of seven stores Apple has in Japan.

Apple is the top brand in Japanese consumers' minds, according to the results of an annual survey that was published today.

Japan's Nikkei business daily released the results of its 2011 survey on brands, and Apple came out on top. Trailing it was Google, which was last year's leader, as well as other tech brands like YouTube and Panasonic. On last year's list, Apple came in 11th.

The online survey, which was done by Nikkei's consulting business, polled around 52,000 people 18 and older, and ran during the last two months of 2011. Besides consumers, the survey also targeted brands that cater to other businesses, where Apple came in second to automaker Toyota.

Notably missing from the short list of consumer brands are Japanese giants Sony and Nintendo. For the past two years the two companies have been in the top 10 of the business-to-business survey.

Here's the listing of companies in the top 10 from the consumer study, with last year's ranking in parentheses:

1. (11) Apple
2. (1) Google
3. (2) Uniqlo
4. (7) YouTube
5. (6) Disney
6. (4) McDonald's
7. (3) Panasonic
8. (5) Nissan
9. (39) Dyson
10. (9) Rakuten

This is the latest brand ranking list in recent months where Apple's knocked another major technology company from the top spot. Last month, a list from marketing strategy firm Davis Brand Capital -- which was not based on consumer polling -- placed Apple on top of other companies including IBM, which had held the lead for two years running.