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Google World’s First $100 bn Brand

Internet search engine giant Google has emerged as the world's number one brand and is also the first one to touch the USD 100 billion value mark, despite the tough economic environment.

According to the the fourth annual BrandZ top 100 most valuable global brands ranking, Google is the number one brand with a value of USD 100 billion and is way ahead of Microsoft which is at the second rank with a value of USD 76.2 billion.

Coca-Cola has entered the top three league for the first time with a value of USD 67.6 billion.

Technology companies make up the bulk of the top 10 with IBM (fourth at $67.5 billion), Apple (sixth at $63.9 billion) and China Mobile (seventh at $62.2 billion), along with consumables like cigarette brand Marlboro (10th at 50.1 billion) and burger chain McDonald's (fifth at $67.3 billion).

Energy major GE (eighth at $59.9 billion) and telecom giant Vodafone (ninth at $50.2 billion) complete the top 10 valuable brands in the world.

Google, formed at Stanford University by students Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1997, went up 16% in brand value in the past year to just break the $100 billion mark.

Google marketing manager Lorraine Twohill said: "We know that without consumers, you have nothing and there is a great element of trust in us. We think about the consumer first and expect everything else to fall into place after that. We don't feel big. We still work in little crappy teams and we feel very small."

Among industries to see their value grow over the past year, most are 'stay at home' brands, said the Millward Brown research.

Coffee companies like Nescafe benefited from cutbacks on drinking expensive lattes in Starbucks and other coffee shops, for instance.

Soft drinks, fast food and beer brands also grew as more people stayed at home to eat and drink while online sites like eBay and Amazon also grew.

Car companies, insurers, clothing brands and, not surprisingly, financial institutions were the ones to suffer the most, the research found.

Millward Brown chief executive Joanna Seddon said: "In the current environment, brand has become even more important because it can help to sustain companies in tough times.

"Those who continue to invest in their brand will be better positioned for business growth as the economic situation starts to improve than those who have cut spend. The recession does not always harm individual brands as much as it does faceless corporations," she added.

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