Google now most valuable brand on the planet
Google was recently declared the most valuable brand on the planet by BrandFinance, which confirmed the rather inevitable milestone.
Yes, Mountain View not only dominates the global search engine market, but has ventured out of its "traditional" space with impressive results - case in point, Android OS.
BrandFinance values the Google brand at $44.3 billion - just marginally ahead of technology counterpart and rival Microsoft which boasts a brand price tag of $42.8 billion.
Yet, Google’s brand strength has probably as much to do with its commercial activities as it do with its non-commercial initiatives.
For example, the oft-repeated "don’t be evil" mantra heralding its active involvement in disaster rescue efforts (like the recent tsunami in Japane and New Zealand earthquake) has catapulted the brand to AAA+ status.
Microsoft, the grand old man of computer software, has remained remarkably stable despite multi-pronged attacks to its primary markets. Known for its ruthless approach when dealing with its competitors, the Windows operating system remains the world’s most widely used PC operating system.
Microsoft has not had as much success on the latest digital device growth space - mobile phones. The firm must be hoping its recent deal with Nokia will see the fortunes of Windows ME start to move it back up the visibility ladder on that front.
In another sign of the performance of technology brands on the 2011 report, Apple has moved up 12 places.
Clearly, Cupertino has been doing a lot of things right lately. The legendary loyalty of Apple customers has given the firm the boldness to make some daring bets that are proving to pay off handsomely - like the iPad2.
And as smartphones become demystified as a class symbol, the iPhone is making good progress outside its (traditional) US and European markets.
Technology has definitely made its mark on the brand standings - but several "old money" firms have managed to hold their own. Then again, Walmart has not been so lucky. Despite an impressive showing during the ongoing financial crisis, the Walmart brand seems to be amongst the biggest losers in 2011.