Google has surpassed Apple to become the most valuable brand in the world, according to Brand Finance. Though Apple still holds the title for the most valuable company by virtue of sheer assets for now, with the companies having a back and forth exchange in that department, Brand Finance studies companies and assigns their brand a monetary value based on a number of factors such as consumer faith, product quality, and brand image improvement efforts. Apple has led the pack in this department since 2012's report, with the last time Google held the top spot being in 2011, though they have been close on Apple's heels during that entire period.
According to Brand Finance, Apple is falling out of favor with some of their biggest fans by under-delivering on technological advances, and is falling out of favor with investors by failing to adequately address issues facing some of their more embattled products, such as the Apple Watch, resulting in low sales. Apple's grasp on the smartphone market is slipping, which means that the iPhone now has to compete directly with the likes of Google's Pixel, Samsung's Galaxy S7, and even somewhat more unheard of brands like OnePlus and their high-end OnePlus 3T. In the PC market, meanwhile, Apple's desktops have all but disappeared from some segments, and their MacBook lineup's popularity is finally beginning to wane as business and gaming laptops take the mainstream, alongside cheap and feature-packed Chromebooks.
Google has built their brand value up a bit this year, mostly through their core search business and Android growing as they always have, but Brand Finance's analysis points to Google rising to the top spot because of Apple's fall from grace. The fact that Chromebooks are saturating the education market and slowly becoming mainstream laptops for consumers that don't expect to perform high-power tasks like media editing, 3D modeling, and gaming certainly couldn't have hurt Google's standings for the year. As for places below the two top dogs, Amazon maintains its grip on the third spot for this year's ranking, followed by AT&T and Microsoft. Samsung snaps up spot number six, Verizon is number seven, and Facebook sits on the ninth spot, right below Walmart.