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World's top 10 brands

Last updated on: September 10, 2009 

Image: A man takes a bottle of Coke Zero out of a fridge at a supermarket in Caracas.
Photographs: Edwin Montilva/Reuters

The business of building brands is a tough one. And it takes years of hard work, great service, great product, sustained socially responsible work and a lot more to create a brand that people hold store by. In today's ever-changing economy, entrepreneurs seek specialists' help to launch their products and create brands.

Often big corporate houses cough up millions to help bolster their brands so that consumers remember who they are. Once a brand succeeds in striking a chord with the consumers, half the marketing battle is won.

Here are the world's top 10 corporate brands.

1. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognised brands and logos in the world. Its brand value is worth $66,667 million. Its parent company is Coca-Cola.

It was created in Atlanta, Georgia by Dr John S Pemberton. The bottle is among the most recognisable icons in the world, its design standing for the youthful exuberance of United States of America.

Coca-Cola was first offered as a fountain beverage by mixing Coca-Cola syrup with carbonated water.

The Coca-Cola script was designed by an amateur, Frank Robinson. Coca-Cola was registered as a trademark in 1887 and by 1895 Coca-Cola was being sold in every state and territory in the US. In 1899, the company began franchised bottling operations in the US.

World's top 10 brands

Image: Employees follow a speech at the booth of IBM at CeBIT computer fair in Hanover.
Photographs: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

2. IBM

The company's brand value is worth $59,031 million. Its parent company is International Business Machines.

In 1972, the company logo, designed by Paul Rand had horizontal stripes replacing the solid letters to suggest 'speed and dynamism.'

A resurgent tech-services business together with highly profitable software edges Big Blue ahead of rival Microsoft.

World's top 10 brands

Image: Microsoft founder Bill Gates smiles during a conference organised by Nasscom in New Delhi.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

3. Microsoft

Its brand value is worth $59,007 million. Its parent company is Microsoft.

Microsoft Corporation is an US multinational computer technology corporation with over 79,000 employees in 102 countries. It develops, manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices.

Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, its best selling products are the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

Windows Vista bugs and Apple's withering 'I'm a Mac' ads challenge the software giant despite its monopoly. It is now rolling out a new ad campaign.

World's top 10 brands

Image: The sign at the entrance to a General Electric Co. facility in Medford, Massachusetts.
Photographs: Brian Snyder/Reuters

4. GE

GE is the fourth most recognised brand in the world, worth $53,086 million. Its parent company is General Electric.

The group CEO Jeffrey Immelt introduced a set of changes in the presentation of the brand commissioned in 2004, after he took the reins as chairman.

The modifications included a new corporate colour palette, small modifications to the GE logo, a new customised font (GE Inspira), and a new slogan, 'imagination at work' replacing the longtime slogan 'we bring good things to life', composed by David Lucas.

The changes were designed by Wolff Olins.

World's top 10 brands

Image: Nokia's new netbook computer, the Booklet 3G.
Photographs: Bob Strong/Reuters

5. Nokia

Its brand value is $35,942 million. Its parent company is Nokia.

Though iPhone has the buzz, Nokia phones sell eight times more.

Nokia Corporation has been in the telecommunications business since the 1960s and has become a global leader of the industry.

The original Nokia logo was designed in Tampere in 1865. It went through many modifications since then.

Therefore, when it came to designing their logo, Nokia Co. made every effort to make its logo represent the company's mission. And thus, 'Nokia Connecting People' logo came into being.

World's top 10 brands

Image: Toyota Australia president and CEO Max Yasuda speaks at a media event at a plant in Melbourne.
Photographs: Mick Tsikas/Reuters

6. Toyota

Its brand value is $34,050 million. Its parent company is Toyota Motor.

The current Toyota mark consists of three ovals: the two perpendicular center ovals represent a relationship of mutual trust between the customer and Toyota.

These ovals combine to symbolise the letter 'T' for Toyota.The space in the background implies a global expansion of Toyota's technology and unlimited potential for the future.

Back in 1936, to coincide with the launch of its eagerly awaited first passenger car, Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd. held a public competition to establish a new symbol mark to promote its vehicles.

The company indicated that the new design should convey the feeling of speed. Twenty-seven thousand entrants answered the call and submitted their ideas to Toyoda.

The winning design led to a change in the name of the automobiles and plants from 'Toyoda' to 'Toyota.' The changed name was chosen because the number of strokes to write Toyota in Japanese (eight) was thought to bring luck and prosperity. 

The Model AA, Toyota's first passenger car, became the first automobile to use the new name.

World's top 10 brands

Image: A man stands in front of an Intel wall at the 2009 Computex trade show in Taipei.
Photographs: Pichi Chuang/Reuters

7. Intel

Its brand value is worth $31,261 million. Its parent company is Intel.

The original Intel logo with a 'dropped-e' in it was created by Silicon Valley pioneers Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, 39 years ago as they were forming their new 'integrated electronics' company.

In 1991, the company introduced the 'Intel Inside' slogan with the Intel logo.

The company's sales are strong and Intel still pays to place its logo in the ads of customers like Apple and Dell, but the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the practice.

World's top 10 brands

Image: man visits a McDonald's restaurant in Arlington, Virginia.
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
8. McDonald's

Its brand value is worth $31,049 million. Its parent company is McDonald's.

McDonald's Corporation is one of the largest chains of fast food in the world.

It mostly sells burgers and fries but has recently introduced fancy coffees, breakfast sandwiches, and wraps.

The McDonald's Golden Arches logo was introduced in 1962. It was created by Jim Schindler to resemble new arch shaped signs on the sides of the restaurants. He merged the two golden arches together to form the famous 'M' now recognised throughout the world.

The McDonald's name was added to the logo in 1968.

While the physical arches were dropped out from all the restaurants' building design, the Golden Arches have remained in the McDonald's logo.

World's top 10 brands

Image: Passers-by walk in front of the World of Disney store in New York.
Photographs: Keith Bedford/Reuters

9. Disney

Its brand value is worth 29,251 million. Its parent company is Walt Disney.

Co-founded by Walter Elias Disney, the Walt Disney Company today has branched out to various entertainment studios, theme parks, products and other media productions with an annual revenue of approximately $30 billion.

The Walt Disney logo is a 'stylised version of the founder's signature' that signifies the brand name and promises secure, cheerful and quality American mainstream entertainment.

Other than the regular logo, the company uses different logos on its different products. A castle on a blue background version of the Walt Disney logo is used for the movie releases and as the curtain-raiser to its films.

World's top 10 brands

Image: Google has 65 per cent share of the global Internet search market.
Photographs: Reuters
10. Google

Its brand value is worth $25,590 million. Its parent company is Google.

Google Inc, a technology company, maintains index of web sites and other online content for users, advertisers, Google network members, and other content providers.

Its automated search technology helps users to obtain instant access to relevant information from its online index.

The company provides targeted advertising and Internet search solutions, as well as intranet solutions via an enterprise search appliance.