Google, Apple and Microsoft are the three most valuable brands overall worldwide, according to Brand Finance, a London-based brand valuation consultancy firm.
The annual Brand Finance Global 100 ranks the most valuable brands in the world from a variety of industries based on the strength, risk and future potential of a brand relative to its competitors while also accounting for major financial, political and economic changes over the last six months.
Google retained its position on this list as world’s most valuable brand, worth a staggering $48.2 billion. Apple emerged as the second most valuable brand in the world as its value rose by 33 percent -- overtaking Microsoft for the first time.
Brand Finance explained its reasoning for Apple's valuation in a statement:
Apple’s success can be attributed to its innovative design, loyal consumer base and well-executed marketing activities. Naturally there is speculation about how the brand will be impacted by Steve Jobs recent resignation. However with a culture of innovation across the whole business, the brand is likely to continue to hold a strong position in the market.
As for the companies that were in competition in this survey against tech's top three?
U.S.-based banks dropped in brand value significantly as HSBC overtook both Bank of America and Wells Fargo. However, other American brands that have a global presence managed to do well -- specifically McDonald’s, Nike and Coca-Cola.
Emerging markets such as China and India have also produced brands that have grown in value significantly, while Europe has taken a hit as Spanish and French brands dropped by 13 percent and 5 percent respectively.