‘Searching’ for the Top Global Brand

An annual study of the most valuable global brands finds tech companies leading the way. Not surprising, I guess, as consumer loyalty is at the heart of brand value — and consumers are dedicated to their technical tools and toys.

The top four in the "BrandZ Top 100 report" from research firm Millward Brown Optimor: Google, IBM, Apple and Microsoft. Apple and IBM enjoyed the biggest increase (among the top 10) in value over 2009 at 32% and 30%, respectively. The rest of the top 10: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Marlboro, China Mobile, General Electric and Vodafone.

Other tech brands that exprienced strong growth included Verizon (No. 20), SAP (No. 21), AT&T (No. 22), Samsung (at No. 58 with 80% brand growth) and Sony (No. 94).

A common trend among many companies was the utilization of social media to build brand awareness. It didn’t make the top 100, but one of those social media tools — Facebook — did show a brand dollar value of $5.5 billion.

Google was number one for the fourth straight year. The research firm interviewed more than one million consumers worldwide in addition to analyzing each company’s financial and business performance.