Google beats Microsoft, Coke in brand stakes

For the second year in a row, a tech company ranks as most powerful global brand, market researcher says.
Written by Gemma Simpson, Contributor
Google has knocked Microsoft off the top spot and been named the most powerful global brand of 2007 in a recently published ranking.

It's the second year in a row a tech brand has beaten household names such as Coca-Cola, Marlboro and Toyota.

In the ranking, which factored in financial performance and consumer sentiment, Google ranked first with a brand value of more than $66 billion, nearly double its value in the 2006 ranking, according to market researcher Millward Brown Optimor.

Microsoft came in third this year with a brand value of $55 billion. Fellow tech companies in the top 10 are China Mobile, in fifth place, and IBM, in ninth.

According to Millward Brown Optimor, here are the 10 most powerful global brands of 2007, plus brand value:
1. Google--$66.4 billion
2. General Electric--$61.9 billion
3. Microsoft--$55 billion
4. Coca-Cola--$44.1 billion
5. China Mobile--$41.2 billion
6. Marlboro--$39.2 billion
7. Wal-Mart--$36.9 billion
8. Citigroup--$33.7 billion
9. IBM--$33.6 billion
10. Toyota Motor--$33.4 billion

Other technology companies featuring in the top 100 list include Nokia (12th), Hewlett-Packard (15th) and Apple (16th).

"Google is an absolutely phenomenal brand in the sense that it is very clear what it stands for and it has perceived leadership and innovation," Peter Walshe, global brands director at Millward Brown Optimor, told Silicon.com.

Out of the complete top 100 listings, finance is the most dominant vertical with one in four listings coming from that sector. Technology is the second-most prolific, with one in five brands, and retail is the third-most popular sector.

Walshe said one of the key drivers to improve a company's brand is innovation, and that's where technology brands tend to score very well. "People are rating technology brands as exciting, as brands they like and as brands they admire," he added.

The aim of the ranking is to calculate the value a brand is expected to generate for its owner in the future.

Gemma Simpson of Silicon.com reported from London.

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