2.  Google

gallery most valuable companies
  • Brand value: $174 billion

The value of Google's (GOOGL) brand is nothing to sneeze at, up 9% to reach $174 billion.

"Google has done very well; it's just that Apple has done better," said Elspeth Cheung, global valuation director at BrandZ.

The company still dominates the online search market in the Western world and is continually ranked as one of the best employers.

However, Google's brand has also been challenged as the public has raised concerns about the company's privacy policies and tax affairs.

First published May 27, 2015: 4:11 AM ET
Methodology: This 2015 BrandZ ranking of the most valuable brands in the world was carried out by brand consultancy Millward Brown, which is part of the advertising firm WPP. It calculates brand value by using in-depth financial data alongside interviews with over three million consumers from around the world.

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