What makes a brand well known? It must be a combination of consumer awareness, popularity and revenue. There are companies that are earning billions in dollars but do not necessarily ring a bell to the ordinary public. Markel Corp. has seen its stock price rise by leaps and bounds, but the man on the street may be hard pressed to identify which industry it belongs to. Consumers back in the 80s were aware of the Betamax of Sony, but it did not translate to the right kind of popularity that would lead to increased revenue. Thus, it should be the right mix of awareness and sales figure.
Here now is a list of the top 10 most well known brands in the world and the values of the respective brands as computed by Forbes magazine.
10. BMW – $26.3 billion
A huge and prestigious brand in the automotive industry, BMW is a car and motorcycle manufacturer based in Germany. Aside from the BMW line of vehicles, it also owns Rolls Royce and MINI. It has production, assembly, sales and service offices located all over the world. The company was founded in 1916 and employs more than 100,000 people. It recorded sales figures of $95.8 billion.
9. Cisco – $26.3 billion
Have you ever wondered how our data, voices, videos and images get transported around the Internet? Cisco Systems Inc. is the company that designs, manufactures and produces Internet Protocol-based networking devices. Its products can be found from residences to commercial business and public institutions. The company was established in 1984 and has sales of $44.84 billion.
8. Intel – $32. 3 billion
Windows and Apple may be using different operating systems, but they actually run on processors created by just one company. Intel is a designer and manufacturer of integrated digital technology platforms that are made up of microprocessors and chipsets. These are then turned over to original equipment and design manufacturers for use in computers, tablets, smart phones, vehicles, medical devices, factory systems and data centers. Founded in 1968, the company employs more than 100,000 workers and has sales volume of $54 billion.
7. General Electric – $33.7 billion
Mention the name General Electric, or GE, and people will automatically associate it with light bulbs or home appliances from refrigerators to microwave ovens. While that allows the company to gain brand recognition among ordinary consumers, GE is actually much more than that. It is also involved in power generation, water processing, aircraft engines, medical imaging, industrial products and even business and consumer financing. It also owns 49 percent of NBC Universal. Alec Baldwin’s character in “30 Rock” also constantly mentions it. It has been around since 1892. Last year, it recorded sales of $147.3 billion.
6. McDonald’s – $37.4 billion
Who does not know the Big Mac? Even in beef-averse India, there are more than 250 McDonald’s stores selling fast food the American way, without the beef of course. Aside from India, the company has stores in 117other countries outside the United States. McDonald’s was established in 1955 and employs more than 420,000 people. It recorded sales of $27.01 billion.
5. Google – $37.6 billion
Google has become so popular and well-known that it has actually become a verb. It actually started out as a search engine before it expanded to creating operating systems, platforms and enterprise. It also earns a huge chunk of money from advertising. It was founded in 1998 and has since grown to record sales figure of $37.9 billion. It employs more than 30,000 people. The company is also known for its creativity.
4. IBM – $48.5 billion
IBM is one of the epitome of a big company. It was founded in 1911 and has more than 430,000 people under its employ. Last year, it was able to record sales amounting to $106.9 billion. It has five segments, including Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems and Technology and Global Financing. The company aims to give its clients solutions for their business needs by providing advanced computing power and storage capabilities.
3. Coca Cola – $50.2 billion
The company has been around since 1892, with sales figure registering around $46.54 billion. The company owns or licenses more than 500 non-alcoholic beverage brands. It markets both still beverages like waters, enhanced waters, juices, juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy drinks and sports drinks, and sparkling beverages like Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite. It has a presence in almost every country across the globe. Its advertising slogans have left a lasting impact on consumers. People still remember Mean Joe Green sharing a bottle of Coca Cola with a young kid in “Have a Coke and a Smile,” while the “Hilltop” commercial still brings a smile to everyone who remembers the “Buy the World a Coke” commercial that emphasized the slogan of “It’s the Real Thing.”
2. Microsoft – $54.7 billion
As cool as Macintosh looks, majority of people who have been starting up their computers for the past two decades would see the Windows name and logo upon boot up. There was a time when the company’s web browser was the most used in the market and their productivity software that featured Word, Excel and PowerPoint were really the only ones in use. As a matter of fact, that may still be the case for some people up to now. Microsoft also designs and sells hardware and delivers online advertising to its customers. Its sales figure reached more than $72 billion and it has in its employ 90,000 workers.
1. Apple – $87.1 billion
Talk about being well known, its products have caught a life of its own and has become as well known as the company that produces it. From the portable music player of iPod to the tablet iPad and the smart mobile called iPhone, Apple always finds a way to come up with the coolest products around. The company was established in 1976. With more than 60,000 employees under its helm, Apple recorded sales of almost $128 billion. The only question is how they can keep coming up with even better items.
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