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Apple again the world's most valuable brand; Google third

Apple took the top spot for the second year in a row, beating out IBM, Google, and McDonald's to assume the position of the world's most valuable brand.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Milward Brown Optimor

Another day, another Apple victory.

At $183 billion, Apple is the world's most valuable brand, according to Millward Brown Optimor's annual BrandZ study. Apple was last year's most valuable brand, as well, though the company's value jumped 19 percent over last year's $153.3 billion tally.

Millward Brown Optimor's findings, which were released today, are based on a company's financial data, market intelligence, and consumer opinions related to brand equity.

Aside from Apple, technology firms fared quite well in the BrandZ study, with IBM taking the second spot with $116 billion in value. IBM, which took the third spot last year, swapped places with last year's No. 2, Google, which tallied brand value of $108 billion this year. Unlike the leaders, Google watched its brand value sink 3 percent year over year.

McDonald's and Microsoft took the fourth and fifth places, respectively, in BrandZ's study. McDonald's came in at $95.2 billion in brand value, followed by Microsoft's $76.7 billion.

The impact technology is having on brand value is apparent. However, Millward Brown Optimor also noted that it's playing a key role in driving more value for companies operating in other industries.

"In other categories -- cars, financial services, luxury and retail, for example -- we can also see that brands are gaining significant advantages by using smart technology to enhance their customer experience," the company wrote today in a statement. "For example, Burberry -- up 21 percent to $4 billion -- created a virtual world where younger brand followers can view fashion shows and more."

Out of all of the companies in the top 100 list, however, it was Facebook that might have made the strongest impression. In the last year, the social network jumped 16 positions to take the 19th spot in the BrandZ study. More importantly, Facebook's brand value skyrocketed 74 percent to land at $33.2 billion.

One other interesting finding from the BrandZ study: AT&T inched out Verizon Wireless in the rankings, taking the eighth spot with $68.9 billion in brand value. Verizon Wireless was in ninth place with $49.2 billion in value.