Brand names are absolutely crucial for all businesses. In all businesses, whether small or large, building a strong brand name is the cornerstone to marketing success with a broad customer base. What exactly is the definition of the word brand? Admittedly, many people have different definitions for this all important term, but I think marketing guru Dave Dolak has a good definition of brand “an identifiable entity that makes specific promises of value.” In the end the consumer is looking for a good value and strong brands will always be associated with value. Which corporations have been the most successful in building a strong and lasting brand name?
The Top Five Global Brand Names in 2009
1. Coca Cola- All around the world Coca Cola is respected and looked at as a tremendous brand. The company has done a great job of spreading its brand name strength overseas and bringing new customers aboard because of that strong brand name. You would be very hard pressed to find anyone who disagrees that Coca Cola has a very strong brand name.
2. McDonald’s- McDonald’s was nearly counted out a few years ago when the company had a real struggle with its bottom line, but the company has certainly answered the naysayers questions in the last few years. Behind the huge up tick in the profits at MCD is its expansion into Asia, especially China. What allows McDonald’s to expand so quickly into other areas? The strong brand name they have created.
3. Toyota- Toyota has managed to stay above the fray while the American auto companies beg congress for money. Toyota is certainly having financial struggles due to the poor demand right now as well, but the perceived value of a Toyota has never been higher. Toyota is now considered the gold standard by many when it comes to well made cars.
4. Microsoft- Maybe Microsoft isn’t quite as dominant as it once was, but it is still a very strong player and still holds a near monopoly in some key software categories. Bill Gates was able to get consumers thinking that the Windows product from Microsoft was superior to anything else offered, and no one has been able to change that.
5. Apple- Of the five on this list Apple is clearly the biggest mover in the past few years under the direction of Steve Jobs. Apple has shocked many with the successes of its iPod line and is now also gaining momentum in what many thought was a lost area, the MAC vs. PC war. As the company tries to expand its product line the strong brand name will help immensely.
Honorable mention: Johnson and Johnson, Proctor and Gamble, General Electric