It appears that four years with no new products have finally caught up to Apple.
For the first time since 2010, the tech giant was not ranked No.1 on branding research firm Millward Brown’s annual list of the world’s most valuable brands.
Apple was replaced on the list, known as the BrandZ Top 100, by fellow tech giant Google, which has impressed consumers around the world with its top-flight web properties and technological breakthroughs like Google Glass.
Millward Brown calculates the value of the brands it ranks by surveying more than 2 million consumers around the world and using their responses to figure out how much of a company’s financial performance is due to its brand.
Google, which was ranked No.1 in the 2007 through 2010 BrandZ Top 100, toppled Apple again because its brand value grew 40% to $US159 billion since the 2013 rankings were issued. Apple’s fell 20% to $US148 billion, leaving it ranked as the No. 2 most valuable brand.
It was a good year in general for tech companies, with the industry accounting for the top four most valuable brands and five of the top 15.
The other big winner was the apparel industry, which saw its top 10 most valuable brands grow in value by 29%.
However, none of those brands cracked the top 20, with Nike leading the way at No. 34.
Brand Value: $US36.4 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 6%
What Happened: The German business software company enjoyed record sales growth and continued to find success in Hana, its software for organising large quantities of data.
SAP was ranked as Europe's most valuable brand and finished 19th overall for the second consecutive year.
Brand Value: $US39.5 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 42%
What Happened: MasterCard enjoyed the 20th biggest growth spurt among the Top 100 and hopped two spots from No. 20.
According to the Brandz report, the credit card company was bolstered by the expansion of its relationships with several large banks.
Brand Value: $US42.1
% Change v. 2013: 2%
What Happened: China's largest lender, ICBC managed incremental growth in brand value this year despite market reforms that made it harder for banks to profit from loans. The bank continued its traditional role as a funder of state-owned projects and expanded its footprint with new small business clients.
Brand Value: $US47.7 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 12%
What Happened: All three of the logistics companies in the top 100 enjoyed significant growth in brand value, in large part due to the need for shipping precipitated by the growth of e-commerce.
However, the other two brands, DHL and Fed-Ex failed to crack the top 50.
Brand Value: $US53.6 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 97%
What Happened: Tencent was the top 100's biggest riser, nearly doubling its brand value from 2013. The Chinese social network has more than 1 billion users and is building out its mobile payments features.
This past year, it purchased strategic stakes in the search business Sogou and JD.com, China's second largest ecommerce mall.
Brand Value: $US54.2 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 14%
What Happened: Wells Fargo became the most profitable U.S. bank in 2013, bringing increased revenues from loans and fees as the stock rose 33%.
The report attributes much of the company's success to its relatively smooth integration of Wachovia in 2008, allowing the bank to increase scale without taking on the subprime mortgages that hurt its rivals.
Brand Value: $US63.5 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 20%
What Happened: Verizon enjoyed the fifth-largest brand value growth among the top 20. This year, the company worked to differentiate itself from rival telecoms companies by touting its technical expertise.
It took out a series of full-page newspaper ads letting consumers know about its first-place ranking in a number of technical categories.
Brand Value: $US64.3 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 41%
What Happened: Amazon's meteoric rise has been well-documented, and this year was no different. The 'Everything Store' entered the BrandZ top 10 for the first time and posted $US74.4 billion in sales in 2013, a 22% increase.
The company is continuing its expansion into a media company with the rollout of new original series on Amazon Prime and the acquisition of rights to air certain old HBO series.
Brand Value: $US77.9 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 3%
What Happened: AT&T grew marginally in brand value, but dropped two spots due to the growth of Visa and Microsoft. The BrandZ report attributes AT&T's slow growth to competitive pressures and price disruption. It remains the most valuable brand among telecom providers.
Brand Value: $US79.2 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 41%
What Happened: Visa hopped two spots this year on strong brand value growth. Like American Express (No. 24), Visa differentiated itself from other credit cards by emphasising the 'rewarding' nature of its services.
Brand Value: $US80.7 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 3%
What Happened: Coca-Cola was far away the most valuable soft drink brand in the world, more than seven times as valuable as rival Pepsi (No. 88).
Still, Coke fell one spot in this year's ranking, and BrandZ says soft drink brands in general are suffering from a lack of 'meaningfulness' and 'trust' among consumers due to poor nutritional values.
Brand Value: $US85.7 billion
% Change vs. 2013: -5%
What Happened: McDonald's continues to struggle to gain affinity from an increasingly health-conscious consumer base.
Its brand value dropped by 5% for the second straight year, one in which its Mighty Wings product flopped miserably. Still, it's the most famous of the fast food brands, and that certainly counts for something.
Brand Value: $US90.2 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 29%
What Happened: Microsoft's brand decreased in value in last year's rankings, but the old-school software giant enjoyed a 29% increase this time around.
The company announced a change in leadership this year with the appointment of new CEO Satya Nadella and enjoyed some success with the launch of Windows 8.
Brand Value: $US107.5 billion
% Change vs. 2013: -4%
What Happened: IBM dipped in brand value for the second straight year, but retained its spot as the third most-valuable brand.
The company continues to develop its cloud computing capabilities, and it's building out its big data and analytics teams.
Brand Value: $US147.9 billion
% Change vs. 2013: -20%
What Happened: Apple's three-year run at the top came to a close amid a 20% drop in brand value.
This past year, Apple went once again without a transformational new product, and it was beaten to market by Samsung with the first smartwatch.
Though the company is still selling lots of iPhones, consumers are really starting to question whether Apple is the innovation leader it once was.
Brand Value: $US158.8 billion
% Change vs. 2013: 40%
What Happened: Google's was BrandZ's most valuable brand from 2007 through 2010, and this year it finally leap-frogged Apple to reclaim the crown.
In addition to integrating its products with our everyday lives (more than 425 million personal email addresses end in '@gmail.com'), the company has shown an ability to innovate with the release of Google Glass and the acquisition of home automation company Nest.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.