Apple Is World's Most Valuable Brand

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL), on the strength of the iPad, has overtaken Google ( GOOG) as the most valuable brand in the world, according to Millward Brown's 2011 BrandZ study.

Apple's top ranking ended Google's four-year reign as No. 1.

Apple's 2011 brand value was $153.29 billion, an increase of 84% from 2010. Google's value dropped 2% to $111.5 billion, according to the study.

"Apple is breaking the rules in terms of its pricing model," Peter Walshe, global brands director of Millward Brown, told Reuters. "It's doing what luxury brands do, where the higher price the brand is, the more it seems to underpin and reinforce the desire."

"Obviously, it has to be allied to great products and a great experience, and Apple has nurtured that," he said.

IBM ( IBM) came in at No. 3 on the list. Its value rose 17% to $100.85 billion. McDonald's ( MCD) was fourth with its value rising 23% to $81.02 billion while Microsoft ( MSFT) was No. 5. Its value rose 2% to $78.24 billion.

Facebook appears on the list for the first time at No. 35 with its value rising 246% to $19.1 billion.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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