Google is now the most valuable brand in the world. According to global market research agency Millward Brown, Google's brand value increased by 40 percent in a single year to $158.84 billion, edging out Apple's $148 billion, which saw a decline of 20 percent. Google has been making its way up the list steadily after overtaking IBM to take the second spot last year.

Benoit Tranzer, head of Millward Brown France, indicated that Google's foray into wearable devices with the Google Glass and continued investments in the field of artificial intelligence have been pivotal in the growth of its brand value, and that such activities "send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google."

This is the first time in four years that Apple has not managed to retain its position at the summit as the most valuable company in the world in terms of value. Millward Brown's 2014 100 Top BrandZ report also featured other U.S. technology firms like IBM, which came in at third with a brand value of $107 billion followed by Microsoft with a value of $90 billion.

Apple may not be the most valuable brand anymore, but it has fared much better than Samsung, which is positioned 29th on Millward Brown's list with a brand value of $25 billion.

Source: Millward Brown (PDF), Via: CNET