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Persuasion Notebook offers quick hits on the business of persuasion from The Globe and Mail's marketing and advertising reporter, Susan Krashinsky. Read more on The Globe's marketing page and follow Susan on Twitter @Susinsky

Google has leapfrogged Apple in the power of its brand globally.

That is according to the BrandZ top 100 ranking, which is one of the annual reports that track the monetary value that brands contribute to a company's worth. Apple had bested Google in recent years, but saw itself knocked out of the top spot in 2014.

The BrandZ rankings were led by tech companies in the top four spots. There were also some new entrants from the tech world: Twitter and PayPal both joined the top 100 for the first time this year.

In total, the world's top 100 brands had a combined value of $2.9-trillion, up 12 per cent compared to last year. That represents a surge in growth: since the recession, brands have been growing only about 6 per cent per year. The strongest growth category was apparel, which was up 29 per cent overall.

The BrandZ ranking is done every year by Millward Brown Optimor, a firm owned by advertising agency holding company WPP PLC. Rankings like this are an attempt to provide marketers with solid data to demonstrate the value of what they do.

But the vast differences in how different companies calculate brand value – two other big ones are Interbrand and Brand Finance – complicates things because there is no single standard to account for those dollar figures.

The world’s top 10 brands, according to the BrandZ report

RankingCompany2014 brand value (U.S.)Change since 20132013 ranking
1Google$158,843up 40%2
2Apple$147,880down 20%1
3IBM$107,541down 4%3
4Microsoft$90,185up 29%7
5McDonald's$85,706down 5%4
6Coca-Cola$80,683up 3%5
7Visa$79,197up 41%9
8AT&T$77,883up 3%6
9Marlboro$67,341down 3%8$64,255up 41%14