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  • Surprised and happy that Microsoft didn't make the top ten brands list. Their innovation lately has been uninspired. I'm sure they will start copying Apple again very soon though. 😉

  • The $20 Sommelier

    The NFL. I know it's a sport, but the NFL has done a better job than most other sports in branding themselves as more than just a sport. From people throwing up the field goal sign when they miss a split while bowling to yelling numerous cliche' football terms, the NFL is more than just football – it's an industry.

  • Fly in the Ointment

    I wondered if NBC would qualify or any network for that matter. I mean you have access to the largest media feed in the world with millions watching programming every night. Probably not worldwide but neither is Whole Foods, is it?

  • wow, Google on top. No wonder though.

  • Weirdo of Tinsletown

    Whole Foods Market? WHOLE FOODS MARKET? Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig…uh, does a little company called Warner Bros. mean anything to you? Yea, that little company that wrote the book on how to brand properly. Warner Bros. was the forefather to every company on this list, and you didn't have the decency to include them.

    Branddoozie, you're killing me.

  • Whole Foods was a surprising to me as well, but we are getting one built here in Richmond, VA so they are expanding. I liked the suggestion that the NFL brand should have been included. They are a major "player" for sure.

  • o

    yeah whole foods is unexpected. it has less brand recognition as well, i would say. also, less people use mac's overseas … not sure if this is a factor in your rating. …@$20" the NFL is very american and is not a big deal anywhere else in the world.

    • john

      O is confusing Apple with Macintosh computers. Apple is far, far more than just Macs. Apple is the largest music retailer on earth, for one. Apple Stores are the most profitable retail stores on the Planet, selling not only computers, but the most popular music player (ipod) and the very popular iPhone to hundreds of millions of customers in more than 60 countries around the world. As for Macintosh, it is the leading platform for media creation, design and development, and remains a technological touchstone that many try to copy, without much success.

      I hope that helps you to better understand Apple.

  • russel

    I wondered if NBC would qualify or any network for that matter.

  • Panther

    Apple isn't the number two brand =/ Microsoft is way bigger =/

    • Joe Michaels

      First, no it isn’t. Media coverage lately has shown that Apple’s market cap (number of outstanding shares of stock times stock value) is greater than Microsoft’s.

      Second, good brands does not equal market size. Microsoft may be large, but it’s not a good brand. How many cars do you see sporting Microsoft logos? Now, how many cars sport Apple logos?

  • Gazza

    What about the Golden Arches?

  • Ahmad Al-Jaser

    Just I have one qustion for the above list : Why there is a differance between it and Business week's list and what is your criteria?

  • Dan

    What in the world is Whole Foods Market? Why isn't McDonalds on that list? They have 1000s of stores over the entire world! They are much bigger than BMW.

  • Matthew

    Are you serious?! Wholefoods better than Disney and coke?! hahhaa who makes these lists

  • What about WalMart? They are the highest grossing company in pretty much all of the world. At least stateside they are. Chain Store Age recently had them at #1 for brands and they didn't even make this Top 10 list.

    • Joe Michaels

      Wal-Mart Stores uses some 55 names internationally. (It is only called “Wal-Mart” in the U.S.)

  • Micah Touchet

    10 amazing brands
    Top Ten List As the creative director of a small creative design agency, my duties run the gamut of directing everything from print design to web development. However, my favorite area in the design and advertising world is a little niche known as brand identity. Wikipedia defines brand identity like this:

    “How the brand owner wants the consumer to perceive the brand – and by extension the branded company, organization, product or service. The brand owner will seek to bridge the gap between the brand image and the brand identity. Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand’s differentiation from competitors.”

    The path required to be taken while developing the brand identity is always wide in scope. The brand is built or destroyed by the public’s perception of the goods or services that the brand represents. Although customer service, sourcing, quality control, human resources management and a host of other things are vital in building a great brand, my focus is primarily on the good design of the brand—namely, the logo, tagline and color palette.

    So, here—in no particular order—are my picks for 10 amazing brands. Before I start, please recognize these aren’t necessarily the 10 best brands, and in several years, they might not even still be amazing. These are simply some brands with which I come in contact nearly every day, and they stand in my mind as being great.

    Coca-Cola. Certainly, no one can deny the strength of the venerable Coca-Cola brand. These guys own the cola category. Sure, there are a few others, including Pepsi with the ever-evolving logo (currently a knock-off of the presidential campaign winner), but Coke is, as they say, “the real thing.” With the bright red and white colors, and the distinctive logo, it presents an image of being both classic and timeless. Now, anybody would admit that the logo is a far cry from anything that today’s designers would attempt, but in the day it was developed, cursive lettering logos were all the rage. But that is part of the appeal of Coke—nothing much has changed in all of these years, and paradoxically, that may be one of the biggest reasons it’s still so relevant today.

    BMW. Out of all the great cars, particularly the European models, there is none like a BMW. Sure, there are better, cheaper values. Sure, there are flashier, faster cars. But nothing, in my opinion, says sporty, luxury and downright cool like a BMW. I’ve owned a BMW Z3, the best and most fun vehicle I’ve ever owned, and incidentally, I’m in the market for a 5 or 7 series now. Although this company doesn’t have the most spectacular logo, it’s still an appropriate design. More importantly, the brand experience is smooth, consistent and feels great.

    Apple. This is one of my favorite brands by far—and I’m certain it’s not just because I work on one every day. Buying an Apple computer, setting it up and using it is such a seamless and breathtaking event that it makes you wonder how PC’s are still even sold. Of course, if you use an iPod, iPhone or any of the other “i” products from Apple, you’ll quickly realize the ultra-high priority that these guys give to great design.

    ING Direct. If you know anything about ING Direct, you certainly recognize the great experience they provide across the brand. Obviously, this isn’t your grandpa’s bank—no gray, green or slate blue colors here. Anything ING Direct does is very orange, very electric blue—and very, very sweet. Everything from the website, the debit cards, the brochures, to the customer service toll-free number is cohesive and perfectly branded.

    Google. This might be the least pretty of all the brands, but hey, everything they do is so consistent with their implied “hi-tech, easy-to-use” familiar face. With a literal wealth of online services and apps available, and the majority of them as free as air, Google certainly understand how to take something that is confusing to the average computer user and create a well-integrated experience. No one wonder their sites are the most visited on the web.

    Target. Now, big box stores often get a bad rap, but when it comes to a mass-merchandiser, you can hardly beat the great branding that Target has. I can still remember the first time I walked into a Target store. I was immediately grabbed by the unified “feel” of the store, and I still love what I see every time I return. Makes me understand why Walmart is jealous, and why they’ve now abandoned the old wild-west logo for something that pretends to be chic. They still don’t have anything over Target in brand experience.

    Starbucks. With the current economic crunch, luxury brands are particularly feeling the pinch, but Starbucks still has a strong, loyal following. Who would of thought that someone could have taken a forgotten, almost boring category like coffee, and created a brand experience so intriguing that people would pay five bucks for something that cost 15 cents to make? The power of the brand. Everyone knows to be cool you have to drink Starbucks every day—at least, that seems to be the consensus of opinion.

    Burger King. I think McDonald’s might have them beat in providing a (relatively) consistent experience, store after store, year after year, but Burger King has the edge on a great design experience. This is one of the few places I go where I find myself reading the French fry box, the paper bag, the sign on the drink machine—even the sign on the door. This place is fun, smarty, and very memorable.

    Vineyard Furniture. Okay, I am a little partial to this one. Not the oldest brand by far, but from the view as agency of record, and more importantly by what their customers are saying, Vineyard Furniture provides an experience that is unprecedented in the furniture industry. Right now, they are a middle player in the crowded category of wood case goods and, more recently, upholstery. However, due to changing industry and economic conditions, as well as a plenitude of amazing, fresh designs preparing for launch in the not-too-distant future, I predict Vineyard Furniture will become a major player within a few years, particularly in the upholstery category.

    Nike. Probably among the most powerful brands ever, and it all started as a shoe. I suppose nearly everyone could recognize the great logo and quote the tagline, “Just Do It.” Nike has now become the name in sportswear and equipment. It only takes a few minutes of looking through the ads, browsing the website, or using the product to realize Nike is a company that values brand and design higher than the average company—and they reap the benefits to the tune of over $18.6 billion last year alone.

    Well, that’s all for now. If you’re ready to take your company to the next level, consider a brand evaluation—and get in touch with us at NewBirth Creative Design Agency.

    Best regards,
    Micah Touchet
    Creative Director

  • Linda McGuire

    Just curious… what was the criteria for the choices? Are we talking "biggest" brands, or brands that have developed the clearest picture of their company? (I'd add Ikea and REI) Or… branded graphics that are most distinctive and recognizable? Nike… just as a mark…what IS that swoosh thing, anyhow? If it hadn't been pummeled into the public awareness, would it be under consideration? Obviously it's not JUST about the graphic; it's about the whole marketing package then. Some of the most wonderful graphics are for small companies without the megabudget of the big guys, and these little gems are only seen by a small part of the population. Example: animal hospitals frequently get wonderful marks… but a mark for one in Washington won't be recognized in Colorado. Just want "big"? Well, that would put the Windows brand above the Apple brand. There are zillions more Windows boxes than Apple boxes out there. On the other hand, there are zillions more cockroaches on the planet than people. That in mind… again, I ask: what's the criteria?

  • LariLee

    Walmart and McDonalds not being on the list is rather surprising. The Golden Arches is known the world over and Walmart is taking over the globe one community at a time until they reach world domination. Even Google being number one surprises me. Interesting list, but one that's controversial.

  • Davidi

    I still feel not having NOKIA on this list is surprising

  • Yroll

    Why BMW not Toyota??? Toyota is the largest car maker in the world.

  • Kangel

    OMG excuse me why do you have disney as number 9 i mean show the starbucks logo to a 40 year old male and he'll say huh? but show him disey and he'll say oh disney

  • brand2tag

    Hello to all,

    I have a website where you can submit your favorite brands thus contributing to the top ranking brands list found at brand2tag.com/rankings/ . If you want to make your own list of brands then brand2tag.com is the place to be. Sorry for the somehow commercial comment, if the owner doesn't like i won't be upset if it deletes it.

  • Philip Ze

    Nice list, good to know. But then, where is Microsoft stand ?

  • 360by2

    No doubt Google Is No.1

    But where is Microsoft…. ? Did you forget or Microsoft does not stand in Top 10 List?

    In 2001, the five most valuable brand names in order were Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, GE, and Nokia.

  • Let's go about creating our very own brand! Power to the people

  • Berhane Gerencheal

    I doubt this selction might be biased because all most all the American products, services and internet services are selected in the top ten. Had it been honest, where are the most infulential products of Japan like Tyota and Sony.

  • Vesko

    Wholefoods Market and Target are not very popular in Europe. Actually I had never heard of these before. I would have added 20 Century Fox or Microsoft in their place. Also, Starbucks are not that awesome here either and neither are Nike. As far as I know, Adidas are way bigger. Also: FIFA. That is big.

  • Mehebub Ahmed

    My father informed me that Coca Cola is No 1 Brand of the world when I joined Coca Cola for summer internship in 2004.

  • Mehebub Ahmed

    Undoubtedly Google is No 1 Brand…I can’t live without Google….my beloved…

  • Anon

    Google is number .1
    Revenue: US$ 29.321 billion (2010)

  • guy who took a marketing class once

    Ummm i don’t know if anyone noticed this but… Coca Cola is actually the world’s most valuable brand and should hold the number one spot. Kids in the poorest parts of the world who have never even seen a computer know what coca cola is. There are people who are 100 years old and have never used a computer but they drink coke. .. still i could be wrong… but probably not.

  • colleen

    Err, the 1984 orwellian runner and lemmings were Apple, not Nike. You need to edit.

  • African

    I disagree with this page. Am african I would list them this way

    1.Coca Cola
    2.Nike
    3.BMW
    4.Disney

    And the rest we dont know them

    • You don’t know Apple or Google? that is shocking to me. My wife traveled to Niger and many people wanted her iPhone and knew Apple.