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Google's innovation push sees its surpass Apple in BrandZ 2016 brand value list

Google’s strong innovation push has helped it knock Apple off the top spot in the rankings of the most valuable global brand, according to the 2016 BrandZ Top 100 list, while Vodafone continues to lead the rest in the UK.

The Alphabet company increased its brand value by $229bn- 32 per cent- on last year to see it reclaim the top spot in the annual ranking of the world’s most valuable brands, compiled by WPP and Millward Brown.

The return to the top has been fueled by its comprehensive innovative push across a number of areas which has resulted in new chat apps designed to compete with the likes of Snapchat and Apple’s Facetime and the creation of a home assistant designed to compete with the Amazon Echo.

Apple meanwhile suffered an 8 per cent decrease in its value to $229bn, rounding off what has been an underwhelming 2016 for the company so far. In April, the tech giant announced its second quarter revenue fell 13 per cent from the year prior, bringing to an end its growth streak which began in 2003.

Elsewhere., the telecoms sector emerged as the strongest performer in the UK ranking, with Vodafone and BT taking first and third places respectively. Vodafone’s top spot comes despite its acquisition activity pulling its brand value down 4 per cent to £37bn.

BT’s entry into the pay TV and mobile markets as a disruptor in 2015 resulted in it moving up one up one place in the list with a 3 per cent increase in its brand value which now sits at $18.5bn.

Other notable performing UK brands included Unilever-owned Dove which entered the UK Top 10 ranking for the first time since 2013, growing by 3 per cent to $5bn, boosted by its marketing campaigns such as the ‘Choose Beautiful’ initiative which pushes the brand’s innovative and thought-provoking efforts.

The new entries in the top 10 this year were Facebook, which ranks 5th on the list after a 44 per cent increase on its brand value on last year, and 7th placed Amazon which was the biggest mover with a massive 59 per cent jump on its 2015 positioning.

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola found itself dropping out the top 10 list after dropping five places to 13, marking a 4 per cent decline in its value. This comes despite the new marketing strategy it introduced in February which aims to push its low sugar variants and promote all its products under the 'Taste the Feeling' tagline.

Reflecting on the result Peter Walshe, global BrandZ director at Millward Brown, said: “It’s clear from the BrandZ rankings that innovation, whether that is delivering something new or disrupting an existing market, plays a critical role in a brand’s success, both in the UK and around the world. More than that, it is also about consumer perception so it is essential that they shout about their achievements and then deliver on their promises.

“Strong brands take this to heart which helps them build resilience. This is ably demonstrated by the notable success stories of brands such as Vodafone, BT, Dove and Lipton, which are thriving despite the impact that the current global outlook is having on the UK.”

Overall, the BrandZ rankings reveal what has been another challenging year for the UK with the total value of its top 10 brands dropping to $137bn, down 8 per cent from 2015. This compares to an increase of 5 per cent in mainland Europe. North America meanwhile has enjoyed a 10 per cent growth although this was a down on the previous year’s 19.1 per cent rise. The global figures indicate that the influence of the economic slowdown in China, along with global financial issues and troubled categories such as banking alongside oil and gas have had a significant impact on brands globally.

The 2016 BrandZ Top 100 list can be viewed here.

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