It looks like Google is beating Microsoft in entirely new ways these days. Market researchers at Millward Brown Optimor have compiled their second annual list of the world's most powerful brands, and this year Google is the top global brand. Microsoft, rated third, was the top rated brand last year.
Google's ascension comes with an associated brand value of $66.4 billion, well ahead of second-place General Electric ($61.9 billion) and Microsoft ($55.4 billion). Other companies in the top ten include Coca-Cola, China Mobile, Marlboro, Wal-Mart, Citigroup, IBM, and Toyota. The brands are rated according to both financial performance and consumer interest, Millward Brown Optimor says.
Looking at the top 100 companies on the list, the financial sector is dominant with roughly 25 percent of the positions. Technology companies are second, followed by retail. The big trends this year are emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China, technology convergence, and--go figure--fast food chains turning to healthier alternatives.