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Top US brands for 2008 reveal winners and losers

Posted by Mort Greenberg on April 14, 2008


Monday March 24, 2008

While a brand may be an intangible asset, it is still a key component of the total valuation of a

company – and of a company’s financial health – according to CoreBrand, which has tracked the

latest changes in America’s top 100 brand rankings.

The top two positions in the annual CoreBrand Corporate Branding Index were again filled by the

Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson, which have remained at the top since 2004.



Gains and losses

But who is winning the battle for an increased share of corporate reputation? Harley Davidson

continued to succeed in 2008 (at fourth place), having moved up five places since 2004 and two

places since 2007. However, Starbucks’ meteoric rise in brand stature slowed slightly, having

moved up three places in 2007 compared to twelve places since 2004.

The retail industry took it on the chin as popular brands stalled in the face of the current

economic downturn (and a consequent reduction in consumer spending). Wal-Mart’s ranking has

dropped by 11 places since 2004 and 8 places since 2007. Home Depot also lost ground, falling

34 places since 2004, although dropping by only 5 places since 2007.

Rival brands do battle

Rivalries were also found in the automotive sector where Toyota struggled to maintain its lead

while American manufacturers continue to fight back. Toiletries was also an interesting category,

with firms such as Revlon, Estee Lauder and L’Oreal having put a great deal of effort into their

brands. These companies all saw significant increases in brand rankings in 2008.

Companies that dropped rapidly through the ranking table included Whirlpool, Nestle, Kraft Foods,

Sara Lee, and Motorola, while those rising most rapidly included Bayer, Visa, Mattel, MasterCard,

Fruit of the Loom, Nissan, and Toshiba.

Microsoft suffered too

Microsoft’s corporate brand has declined over the past four years. In 2004 the company was

ranked at number 11 (out of the 1,200 companies included in the index), while in 2007 the

company has dropped to number 59.

The effect of Apple’s “Hi, I’m a MAC” advertising campaign may have taken its toll on Microsoft,

CoreBrand suggested. The launching of a series of new products following a long dormant period

may however have a positive effect on the Microsoft brand.


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