Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 10:30 UK

Google brand value 'on the rise'

Google screen
Looking for answers? This might be the place to start

In these uncertain economic times, people want answers - one reason perhaps why Google's brand value is soaring and bank brands are plunging.

Google's brand value rose 25% to $31.9bn (£19.5bn) from the year before according to Interbrand's survey of global brands, the year's biggest rise.

This is the first time that the total value of the world's top 100 brands - down 4.6% at $1.15 trillion - fell.

The world's two most valuable brands remained Coca Cola and IBM.

World's most valuable brands
Coca Cola $68.7bn
IBM $60.2bn
Microsoft $56.6bn
GE $47.7bn
Nokia $34.8bn
McDonald's $32.2bn
Google $31.9bn
Toyota $31.3bn
Intel $30.6bn
Disney $28.4bn

In a year when some banks were taken under government control and others fought off collapse, the value of financial brands plunged.

Citi's brand value fell 49% to $10.2bn, while that of UBS fell 50% to $4.3bn. The value of American Express's brand fell 32% to £14.9bn and that of Morgan Stanley fell 26% to $6.39bn.

Car companies, struggling to make cars that people want to buy in these straitened times, were also hard hit. Toyota, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and Porsche all saw their brand values fall.

UBS bank
No longer a brand to bank on

"Some historically valuable brands normally associated with scale and stability, experienced a very bad year," Interbrand said, alluding to the poor performance of bank and car brands.

Brands that performed poorly were those perceived to have "fundamentally broken" businesses, a category which included UBS, it said.

Tougher economic times can lead to people re-evaluating "the nature of the relationships that we have with brands and indeed how confident we feel in brands to live up to the promises they make," Jez Frampton, Interbrand chief executive, said.

"Brands are promises which we value and are prepared to pay for and if we feel those promises have been broken, we're less likely to trust."

But some brands are resistant to recession. While consumers may have less cash for big-ticket items such as cars, and their distrust of banks has increased, they still have enough coins in their pocket for Coca Cola, McDonalds, Gillette and H&M.

"Brands that are day-to-day staples and are easy to purchase and experience have done well," Interbrand said.

The very top-end brands - those which speak of luxury for the very few, with names such as Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Hermes - held their own, falling less than the average drop of 5%.

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