Apple Beats Google, Coke as Best Brand

Google also tops the soft drink classic in brand value

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When Coca-Cola was named the world’s most valuable brand in 2000, some people still thought Apple was just a fruit, and would have to search what “Google” was on Ask Jeeves.

But 13 years later, Coca-Cola has surrendered its reign to Apple Inc. and Google, according to the new Best Global Brands report out Monday from the consulting firm Intrabrand. Apple bested Coca-Cola for the first time and leads the pack, with Intrabrand pegging the value of the brand alone at more than $98 billion.

The report estimates the value of a company’s brand, including factors like customer loyalty and the brand’s influence on consumer buying decisions. While Coca-Cola actually saw a slight increase in brand value, Apple and Google both saw theirs jump about 30 percent in the last year. Five of the top 10 brands are technology firms.

“Every so often, a company changes our lives, not just with its products, but with its ethos,” the report says. “This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Interbrand has a new No. 1 — Apple.”