The 25 most powerful corporate brands

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The Coca-Cola Company is the most “powerful” global corporate brand, according to a recent report from CoreBrand.

The organization compiled its 2014 rankings by polling 10,000 business professionals on their impressions of top brands at the corporate level, not individual products or divisions. Respondents were asked to evaluate the power of brands based on two criteria: familiarity (how well is the brand known?) and favorability (does the brand have a positive reputation, well-regarded management, and good investment potential?).

Coca-Cola has been ranked number one since 2008, when CoreBrand released its first study. The gap between it and Hershey, the number two brand in the rankings, is the greatest between any two successively listed brands on the list (2.8 points).

Amazon.com recorded the biggest gain over the previous year, jumping 25 positions to rank 91st. IBM was the second highest gainer, up 15 positions to rank 49th.

Among the top 25 brands, Microsoft had the largest gain, up nine positions to number 11. Microsoft is up 34 positions since 2008. Google is the biggest overall gainer since 2008, up 90 positions to come in at number 26.

UPS, Walgreens, and CBS had the most loss over the past year: UPS fell from 11th to 22nd; Walgreens fell from 12th to 23rd; and CBS fell from 58th to 69th. Among the top 10, Kellogg had the biggest loss, falling four positions from 5th to 9th. CBS had the largest decline since 2008, losing 48 positions from its high rank of 21st.

Below are additional findings from CoreBrand and the top 25 corporate brands on the list. (The Top 100 list can be accessed here.)

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Ad Spend

  • The top 5 gainers on the top 100 list cut their ad spend by only 17.5% on average in 2009 during the economic downturn; that’s compared with a 34.8% cut on average for the five brands with the biggest declines.
  • By 2010, the top 5 gaining corporate brands had increased their investment relative to 2008 levels, whereas it took the declining companies until 2012 just to restore investment to 2008 levels.

Resilience

  • Overall, the top 100 brands have shown resilience in both familiarity and favorability with survey respondents since 2008, with most showing only slight dips during the economic downturn.
  • Since the low in 2010, the top 25 brands have gained 0.2 points in their averaged scores; brands ranked 26 to 50 are up 1.8 points; brands 51 to 75 are up 2.6 points; and brands 76 to 100 are up 3.2 points.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 10,000 business professionals. Respondents were asked to evaluate the power of brands based on familiarity and favorability. The full methodology can be accessed here.

—by Ayaz Nanji

April 2, 2014
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