World's top three brands are now: Google, Apple, Microsoft
Apple and Exxon trading the top spot. As far as brand value though, Apple has been surging, jumping from a $19.8 billion brand valuation in 2010, to a $29.5 billion valuation in January 2011, and as of September 2011 stood at $39.3 billion. That valuation is enough to move Apple up from #7 on the list to #2, just ahead of Microsoft, which is valued at $39 billion. Microsoft has slipped from the start of the year, when it was valued at $42.8 billion. But, even with that big jump by Apple, it wasn't enough to unseat the champion: Google. Google started out the year with a brand valuation of $44.3 billion and has continued to climb to an amazing $48.3 billion.
Of course, these numbers are in debate as you'd expect from something as tricky as valuating a brand. A competing company, BrandZ, claimed back in May that Apple had taken over the top spot with a brand valuation of $153.3 billion compared to Google's $111.5 billion. BrandZ uses approximately 2 million customer surveys in determining its rankings, while Brand Finance just uses fiscal metrics.