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Google named world's most valuable brand, pushing Apple to No. 2

Google named world's most valuable brand, pushing Apple to No. 2
Innovation, like a contact lens to help diabetics manage blood sugar levels, helped to hike Google's brand value, according to the Brandz list. (AFP/Getty Images)

Google has knocked three-time champion Apple from the top of an annual list of the 100 most valuable brands around the world.

Tech companies occupy the top four spots in the latest Brandz list from Millward Brown: Google, followed by Apple, then IBM and Microsoft. The market research firm estimates that Google's brand value jumped 40% over the previous year to $158.8 billion, while Apple's fell 20% to $147.9 billion.

Apparently, Apple lost its crown due to a lack of creativity.

Millward Brown chalks up Google's rise to an "extremely innovative" year -- there's "Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships," Benoit Tranzer, head of Millward Brown France, told AFP.

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Statista charts the changes above.  U.S. companies dominate the list, with the top non-tech companies McDonald's, at No. 5 with $85.7 billion, and Coca-Cola at sixth with $80.7 billion.

A Millward Brown spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times that the brands' values were calculated based on the companies' financial performance as well as consumer research.

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