Recently the BusinessWeek magazine published The 100 Best Global Brands 2009 list. The brands of US companies dominate this list as the US continues to be number one in innovation, marketing, technological leadership, etc.
The Top 10 Best Global Brands in 2009 listed by their ranking are:
In addition to being market leaders in their domestic markets, all of the brands have high brand power in overseas markets especially in the emerging markets. As a result of this they are strong revenue generators from emerging markets for their owners. For example, Nokia is synonymous with cell phones in many developing countries as it makes cheap, durable cell phones catering to the needs of the population in those countries. Coca Cola continues to be the leader in the soft drink market worldwide. Due to its global presence and strong, stable growth and decent dividend yield, it is a favorite among long-term investors.
While Microsoft seemed to lose its brand power for a few years with many unsuccessful products, recently it has had success with new products such as the Bing search engine and penetrating the high-growth online advertising world. In the high tech area, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Google continue to thrive in all economic conditions by investing in R&D and introducing new products. Though new search engines such as Bing and others try to gain more market share Google still remains the undisputed leader in the search engine and online ad marketplace. As a stock for long-term investment, GE lost its magic many years ago. Currently GE is a company that lacks clear direction. As a conglomerate that operates in too many areas from making airplane engines to medical devices, home appliances in addition to offering too many financial products such as credit cards, consumer loans, etc. GE probably needs to be split into many small nimble companies that will benefit shareholders and are easier to manage.
Only two foreign brands Nokia and Toyota are in the top 10 list above. Similar to Nokia, Toyota is known globally for making affordable cars that offer quality and value. However Toyota also competes in the luxury market against German auto makers like BMW, and Mercedes Benz with its Lexus brand which took the 96th rank.