Google has overtaken rival Apple as the world's top brand in terms of value, global market research agency Millward Brown has said.

Google's brand value shot up 40% in a year to $158.84 billion (€115 billion), Millward Brown said in its 2014 100 Top BrandZ report.

"Google has been extremely innovative this year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships," said Benoit Tranzer, the head of Millward Brown France.

Google Glass is internet-linked eyewear for which the firm has joined hands with Luxottica, a frame giant behind Ray-Ban and other high-end brands, to sell the new product in the US.

"All these activities send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google," Mr Tranzer said.

Apple, which dominated the top position for three straight years, saw its brand value fall by 20% to $147.88 billion (€108 billion).

The top ten of the 100 slots were dominated by US firms.

IBM was in third place at $107.54 billion (€78 billion), a fall of 4%, followed by Microsoft at $90.19 billion (€66 billion) - a 29% rise.

Fast food chain McDonald's ranked next at $85.71 billion (€63 billion), followed by Coca Cola on $80.68 billion (59 billion).

China led in the insurance sector with Ping An valued at $12.4 billion (€9 billion) and China Life at $12 billion (€8.8 billion).

French luxury goods manufacturer Louis Vuitton ranked 30th overall, but it was the top luxury brand with a value of more than $25 billion (€18 billion).

Brand value is calculated on the basis of the firms' financial performance and their standing among consumers.