Consumers are drawn to big-name brands. Those entities are shoved down our throats via television commercials, printed advertisements and by the fact that certain stores are located in wide varieties of shopping centers and other places of business. In certain cases, brands become integrated into our every day lives. That should not come as too much of a surprise to any of you who are reading this piece via a computer, phone, laptop or some other mobile device. Odds are that you have become accustomed to using at least one particular brand for your work or personal lives on a daily basis.
Even the way that we talk among friends and families has been affected by brands. We no longer, as an example, complete Internet searches when we want to learn about something. We “Google” things. Apple is arguably the most polarizing brand that is out there today. Those who love the brand swear by it, and thus they own an iPhone, an updated iPad, Apple TV and also an Apple computer. At the other end of the spectrum are those who literally refuse to use any Apple product because of biases that they have against that brand for whatever reasons.
Odds are that anybody who stumbles upon this piece will be at least familiar with all 20 of the brands that are featured. The list includes a store that has just about anything that one could need in order to get by, and also a shoe company that changed the way that society views basketball apparel. Last but certainly not least is a brand that you may be utilizing to read this sentence, one that has become synonymous with many aspects of our lives and one that continues to strive to revolutionize the technology world with its wide assortment of products.
Values courtesy of Forbes
20. Walmart: $24.7 billion
The company is often bashed in blog posts and on social media websites for a variety of reasons that are, in some cases, legitimate, but nobody can deny that Walmart has done well in becoming one of the most successful brands in the world. Walmart stores have just about anything that one could desire, from food items to clothes to electronic products such as phones, television and entertainment systems. The news that Walmart will now be taking on Amazon Prime with an unlimited free shipping service should, in theory, only increase the worth of what has become a global brand.
19. Intel: $25.8 billion
Do you long for the days of supercomputers being in offices as was depicted during the final couple of seasons of Mad Men? If so, then Intel may be the company for you if the company goes through with a certain idea. With that said, not all of the news regarding the company has been positive. It was reported in May of 2015 that shares of the company are low, so much so that short interest in Intel is currently at a three-year low. There may be better stocks to invest in heading into the upcoming summer months, as the PC space is unsurprisingly trending negatively at the moment.
18. Nike: $26.3 billion
Some of the biggest names in all of the sports world are associated with Nike. The company went all-in on Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel as much as a brand can do so on a rookie National Football League player, and whether or not that agreement will prove to be beneficial for Nike remains a question. One thing that is certain is that LeBron James continues to be equal to gold for the Nike brand. James remains the best basketball player on the planet, and his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers following a four-year stint with the Miami Heat was one of the biggest sports stories of 2014.
17. Oracle: $26.8 billion
The name “Oracle” sounds like something right out of the HBO program Silicon Valley, but there is nothing comical about the successes that the company has enjoyed over the years. Oracle is widely recognized as one of the top software makers in the world, and the company enjoys numerous partnerships with other entities on this list. Oracle is currently in the middle of a ten-year agreement with the Golden State Warriors that has the team’s arena named the “Oracle Arena.” The company is also involved in the sailing world, as it currently sponsors a team that has achieved victories at the America’s Cup.
16. BMW: $27.5 billion
BMW is responsible for being one of the biggest names in the automobile industry. What you may not know if you are not a fan of the company’s vehicles is that BMW has also, over the years, produced a variety of high-end bicycles. Outside of sales that it posts on a yearly basis, BMW is also known for being a sponsor of Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt. BMW also had a massive sponsorship deal in place for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, and the company is in the middle of an agreement with the United States Olympic committee that is set to run through 2016.
15. Cisco: $27.6 billion
There were worries earlier this year that Cisco may be losing some steam as it pertains to the company’s stock. That, as of the middle of May 2015, has not been the case. It has been reported that Cisco Systems beat expectations some had for the company, experiencing quarterly profit and sales that were beyond what had been predicted. A major player in the world of computer networking, Cisco is set to remain ahead of several rivals for the foreseeable future. Charles H. Robbins, 49 years old, will take on the role of chief executive at Cisco this coming July.
14. Louis Vuitton: $28.1 billion
There are giants in the technology world, and also massive companies that have deals with sports organizations located all around the world. Some of them cannot hang with Louis Vuitton regarding worth and name recognition. One cannot attend a significant event filled with entertainment stars or watch any red carpet event that is worthy of being broadcast on television without seeing the Louis Vuitton brand in one way or another. The company made international headlines in May 2015 when it hosted a fashion show in the middle of a desert because, well, because why not?
13. Amazon.com: $28.1 billion
Amazon is a company that has, over the years, changed different aspects of people’s lives. It is royalty in the world of online shopping, and the free shipping deals that are offered at different times of the year make Amazon a must for many who prefer to buy items at the click of a button rather than in stores. Amazon has also expanded in other avenues, such as the streaming service that it offers to Amazon Prime customers. The company currently has a deal in place that allows it to stream HBO programs such as The Sopranos for free to anybody who pays for the Amazon Prime service.
12. AT&T: $29.1 billion
A true media giant, AT&T is about much more than just offering television service for customers. The company announced in May 2015 that it had put pen to paper on an agreement with Hulu that will allow AT&T customers to utilize that streaming service on devices. AT&T has been viewed as a heel by some sports fans in the United States, however, due to a standoff with cable station FOX Sports 1. AT&T U-Verse customers who have wanted to follow the Champions League and other competitions during the spring months have had to make other arrangements due to that dispute.
11. Disney: $34.6 billion
Perhaps the first thing you think of when you see or hear anything about the Disney brand is a resort, or maybe you recall a cartoon that you watched years ago. Make no mistake about the fact that Disney is about much more than merely entertaining young ones. Disney Media Networks is spread across multiple companies, such as ABC, ABC Family, Hulu and ESPN. The perception out there is that anything in the entertainment world that Disney touches turns to gold, as the company continues to expand in the United States and also all around the world. Disney also grows in wealth every year.
10. Facebook: $36.5 billion
A common story that routinely gets play on technology blogs is that younger individuals are losing interest in Facebook at what could be considered to be alarming rates. You would not know it by the worth of the company as of the spring of 2015. Facebook continues to be one of the top brands in all of the social media landscape, with millions upon millions of users logging onto the service each and every day. It also does not hurt that Facebook owns Instagram, which could be a competitor if it was not under the umbrella of the company. Facebook is not going anywhere just yet, everybody, and reports of its demise have been exaggerated.
9. General Electric: $37.5 billion
It is not at all unlikely that something inside of your home is a General Electric product. The brand that is known all around the world announced in April of 2015 that it was on the verge of introducing what has been called a “radical” plan to sell off most of the GE Capital portfolio. Those sales were reported to be worth $500 billion. Blackstone and Wells Fargo are said to be investors, picking up over $26 billion worth of the GE real estate portfolio. GE is looking to slim itself down, and roughly $90 billion could be returned to shareholders when all is said and done.
8. Toyota: $37.8 billion
Toyota is more than just one of the top names in the automobile industry. The company is also often praised for being an innovator in the business. Are you looking to drive a slimmed-down vehicle and also attract attention from onlookers? Toyota has a three-wheeler for you, a car that the company is saying is not just a gimmick that is for show. The company has had some bad times in the first half of 2015, however, including a massive recall that included over 6 million vehicles worldwide. That recall stems from problems that involve problems with airbags that could be fatal if disaster were to strike.
7. Samsung: $37.9 billion
The war for the hearts and minds of those who utilize mobile devices every hour of every day is real. Just ask people who cling to the Samsung products and who refuse to even dabble with technology create by a certain other brand if you don’t believe that to be true. Even those who have no association with Samsung products because of a love of all things Apple would have to admit that Samsung has managed to be innovative in ways that Apple has not over the past several years, and it would not be crazy to suggest that the best mobile phones put out there today are created by Samsung and not Apple.
6. McDonald’s: $39.5 billion
The idea of eating healthy, especially for those who are younger children and teenagers, continues to grow in popularity every year. That has not stopped McDonald’s, the home of the Big Mac and of other fattening foods, from being one of the most popular brands on the planet. McDonald’s is the king of the fast food industry and has been for years, and that trend does not seem to be ending anytime soon. The company has done well to appeal to all types of customers, from people who love the value menu that McDonald’s offers to those who are intrigued by the more expensive burgers that those restaurants sell.
5. IBM: $49.8 billion
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty startled some when she had the following to say in May 2015 while at an event: “In the future, every decision that mankind makes is going to be informed by a cognitive system.” Odds are that IBM will be favorites to be front and center in the race to be the first to make that prediction a reality. The groundbreaking company is looking to once again make history, this time through its artificial intelligence system that is known as Watson. It will be sooner rather than later when Watson is doing more than simply wowing viewers during episodes of Jeopardy.
4. Coca-Cola: $56 billion
Just how big is Coca-Cola when compared with other soft drink companies? There are parts of the United States where it is appropriate to simply ask for a Coke whenever you are ordering any soda. Coke is an incredible brand in that it manages to find new ways to sell products and engage with customers while at the same time retaining its classic and even vintage properties that make it familiar and recognizable. The “Share a Coke” gimmick that involved names being posted on Coke cans and bottles was so successful that it was brought back in the spring of 2015, and it is a mainstay of numerous social media platforms.
3. Google: $65.6 billion
There are different Internet search platforms, and then there is the king of the Internet known as Google. The Google brand is more than just a search engine, as people use the word as a verb to describe looking things up via the Internet. Google has hands in all types of different products, from self-driving cars to music platforms to mobile apps that can help you keep track of your email or even your health. Every technological company that pops up can only wish to achieve the success that Google has had since it became an everyday part of so many people’s lives.
2. Microsoft: $69.3 billion
Microsoft has, for some, become one of those companies that gets taken for granted. This piece would not exist on the Internet without Microsoft, and yet it was produced without the brand even coming to mind until this paragraph. Video game players boot up a Microsoft machine, some do so every day, without ever saying the name of the company. Microsoft continues to trail behind rival company Apple in many avenues, but the company has also introduced a variety of products that could help it gain ground in that competition. Some technology experts would, as an example, say that Microsoft tablets are much better than the latest edition of the iPad.
1. Apple: $145.3 billion
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment in the history of Apple has been the company’s ability to make consumers feel as if they have to own certain products. Add in that different Apple inventions can be linked with each other, and it is easy to understand why the company remains atop this list for yet another year. Apple users can sync their phones with an iPad and even with television sets, and the Apple Watch is yet the latest example of the company breaking technological barriers. Just be sure to be on the lookout when wearing your Apple Watch, as thieves are on the prowl and they have been known to steal the watches in public.