WEB & TECH / MAY. 22, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Google Finally Takes Apples Place as The King of Brands

Finally it has happened - Apple is no longer the most valuable brand in the world. Google has overtaken Apple and become the King of brands. Despite holding the top position for three years in a row, Apple has finally been knocked off its pedestal. Apple did not suffer that much of course as they merely slipped to number two.

In a recent study for WPP conducted by Millward Brown, Google’s brand value was shown to have increased by 40% year by year to the point that the company was now worth $159 billion. Apple, however, had lost 20% of their brand value and was now worth $148 billion.

Google has not been without problems though. Google’s recent legal problems with the ‘right to be forgotten’, which allows people to request their details be removed from search engine results, has the potential to cause serious problems for online giant. Targeted advertising of all kinds, which is Google’s main source of income, has also come under increasing scrutiny. In fact, many people are questioning whether Google’s entire business model is actually sustainable in the current and future business climate.

Dr Orla Lynskey of the London School of Economics said:

“The judgment could have a couple of significant implications for business models based on targeted advertising. First, the court has clarified that Google is a data controller in all aspects of its business (ie. when providing search results as well as when providing targeted advertisements) and is therefore subject to the full force of data protection rules.”

“Second, the case hammers home the fact that companies engaged in personal data processing can't escape the reach of EU law simply by placing their servers beyond the borders of the EU.

“This judgment is going to put Google in a difficult position. Under EU data protection rules, individuals can object to the processing of their personal data if it is no longer compatible with the EU data protection rules (for instance, if the information is outdated, no longer necessary or if the individual revokes his consent to the processing).”

But even with these problems, Google has managed to push Apple from the top spot. Is this just due to Google being a powerful brand? Google boasts the most popular search engine in the world, the most popular mapping software (Google maps) and creating the most popular Smartphone operating software (Android). Or is it also down to Apple themselves? Have they been sitting on their hands recently?

It is probably a bit of both. Apple has not released any great innovative designs since 2010, when they released the iPad. All of the products that they have released since then have merely been upgrades. While still an extremely powerful and profitable brand it may be that Apple has peaked. What made Apple such a profitable brand was their innovative ideas and products. But if they stop producing innovative products and ideas then an even further fall in brand profitability is inevitable.

Oscar Yuan, VP at Millard Brown said:

“Apple’s been known for earth-shattering, category-creating, revolutionary products. And I would say just recently Apple’s innovations have been more evolutionary than revolutionary. I think that may have played a little bit in the drop from first to second,”

Google on the other hand has been doing exactly what Apple used to do. They have been innovating and bringing the public interesting ideas that they have never seen before. Google glasses have encountered legal problems lately, but were certainly an innovative idea which any gadget enthusiast would want to add to their collection. Combining technology and clothes is one step closer to cyborg implants. They are even trying to bring WiFi to the whole world by launching satellites tied to balloons all around the earth. Both of these projects among others were designed in a secret Google research facility known as GoogleX.  If these kinds of ideas and innovations don’t increase your brand value then nothing will.

On reflection, it is all logical. Apple appears to have stagnated to a certain degree, while at the same time Google has swooped in and taken the crown as both the greatest innovator and most profitable brand. But time will only tell what is in store for Google. Is there a nasty wake up in store for them in the near future? One thing is for certain. No one stays on the top of the list forever.

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