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Apple ranked world's most valuable brand at $153 billion

A new survey ranks Apple as the world's most valuable brand, worth an estimated $153 billion, beating mainstays like Coca-Cola, BMW and Disney, as well as tech rival and the previous No. 1 company, Google.

BrandZ's ranking of the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands (PDF) shows Apple with an 84 percent increase in brand value from 2010. Search giant Google, meanwhile, dropped 2 percent to $111 billion, coming in second place.

Noteworthy brands beaten by Apple and in the top 50 include IBM ($101 billion, No. 3), Microsoft ($78 billion, No. 5), Coca-Cola ($74 billion, No. 6), AT&T ($70 billion, No. 7), ($37.6 billion, No. 14), and Disney ($17.2 billion, No. 38). Other tech companies on the list include HP at No. 18, BlackBerry at No. 25, FaceBook at No. 35, and Cisco at No. 44.

The total list of the 100 most valuable brands increased by 17 percent year over year to $2.4 trillion. BrandZ found growth in all 13 sectors it tracks, including apparel, beer, technology, insurance and luxury.

Developed by Millward Brown Optimor, the ranking system analyzes the world's leading brands and the economic and competitive dynamics that influence value fluctuations. It focuses on market-facing brands that generate revenue and profits through the sale of goods and services directly to consumers or business customers.

The valuation establishes an estimated worth of the Apple brand, rather than Apple the company. The survey was created 13 years ago, and includes information from more than 2 million in-depth consumer interviews in 30 countries.

Apple's 84 percent year over year increase made it the fifth-largest growth story of 2010 on the brand ranking index. Apple was beaten by Facebook, which saw its estimated brand value surge 246 percent to $19 billion, giving it the greatest increase.

The social network was followed by Baidu (141 percent), Wells Fargo (97 percent) and Burberry (86 percent). Apple came ahead of Skol (68 percent), Pizza Hut (58 percent) and Geico (53 percent).