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Can YOU name the Top 100 Global Brands for 2012?

Even if you’re one of those Occupy Wall Streeters, complaining about everything that Big Business is doing to Keep You Down, chances are you’re also a little bit brand conscious.

Aside from the fact that the OWS movement went to all the trouble of ensuring that they have a trademark on “OCCUPY WALL STREET”, those 99% really aren’t any different from the rest of us.

They’re wearing name-brand clothing, purchased at a name-brand retailer.

They’re marketing their protest with Apple and Google phones, using Facebook and Twitter over cellular networks or purloined free WiFi connections that are setup/maintained/paid for by other corporations.

A protest is fine, and bringing attention to companies’ misdeeds is powerful — but don’t complain about how all businesses are bad if you have to rely on them in order to handle your protest in the first place.

See, it really IS all about branding and marketing, isn’t it?


Advanced Brand Management: Managing Brands in a Changing World
Advanced Brand Management:
Managing Brands in a Changing World

So let’s say that you do want to run your own splinter protest group.  Would you be able to IDENTIFY THE TOP 100 GLOBAL BRANDS for 2012 that should receive your wrath?  The folks at Millward Brown have released their BrandZ list of global brands, and there are a few surprises in shifts over previous years.

The first few guesses should be fairly easy and obvious:

  1. Apple
  2. IBM
  3. Google
  4. McDonald’s
  5. Microsoft
  6. Coca-Cola

Clocking in at #7 is Marlboro, which just goes to show how big the cigarette industry is around the world.

Then come the telecom companies at #8, 9, 10, and 12:  AT&T, Verizon, China Mobile, Vodafone.

Other big companies you may have heard of in the Top 25 include

  • Visa
  • UPS
  • Walmart
  • Facebook
  • BMW

Perennial favorite Disney was #43 on the list.  Looks like Mickey Mouse may not be as global a brand as once thought (although Web Watch has always been partial to Tigger, as long-time Web Watch readers would recall).

Budweiser is still going strong at #48, but that represents a drop of 3 positions over their 2011 ranking.

Some takeaways that Millward Brown have concluded with are:

  • Old, heritage brands must remain relevant in order to maintain consumer trust
  • Reputation is vitally important; banks are continuing to face some harsh feedback
  • One key to success is to fully understand the public’s perception of the brand’s personality, then incorporate that into brand messaging.