Lego brand is more powerful than Google

Though the search engine now boosts the most valuable business name in the world...

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Lightsabres and blasters from the 'Star Wars' franchise are part of the problem, the researchers claim [Lego]

Lego has replaced Disney as the most powerful brand in the world, according to Brand Finance, as licensing deals with franchises such as Batman, Harry Potter and Star Wars see it replace Disney at the top. 

It fended off competition from Google, Nike, Ferrari and Visa on this year's list, with the fact that many of Disney's biggest blockbusters last year were produced by sub-brands (Lucasfilm's Star Wars: Rogue One, for example) cited as the reason for it tumbling out of the top 5.

The world's most valuable

When it comes to the most valuable brands overall, Google is king. The search engine giant overtook Apple in this year's headline rankings, with Brand Finance factoring in brand loyalty, familiarity, power corporate reputation and marketing investment when they create the Global 500.

Google is now worth $109 billion, adding $21bn to its value and 20% to its advertising revenue over the past year alone to hit pole position for the first time since 2011.

The Global 500 describes Google's standing as "largely unchallenged" with Brand Finance chief executive David Haigh saying of the iPhone maker's fall:

"Apple has struggled to maintain its technological advantage.

"New iterations of the iPhone have delivered diminishing returns and there are signs that the company has reached a saturation point for its brand."

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Haigh also noted that American brands are increasingly following out of favour with global consumers:

“There was a period when American brands were considered to be very aspirational. Gradually goodwill towards American brands has been eroded,” he said.

“One of the interesting dimensions at the moment is the extent to which Trumpism is actually going to accelerate this negative view about American brands.”