Apple rises in "Best Global Brands" ranking

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Apple has risen in rank on Interbrand's 2009 list of Best Global Brands. The company rises four spots to number 20, and is ahead of other electronics companies like Sony and Nintendo.

Coca-Cola, IBM, and Microsoft occupy the top three spots. Other top ten entries include McDonald’s, Google, Toyota, Disney, and Intel. There's remarkably little change in the top 10 compared to 2008. Some positions have shifted (most notably Google, hopping up to 7th place from 10th).

Interbrand bills itself as the world's largest brand consultancy. The company produces its Best Global Brands list annually, where it ranks what it considers to be the 100 best corporate brands in the world.

Interbrand’s method for determining global brand value combines financial analysis with and equation they call “Branded Earnings,” a figure of how much brand influences consumer demand at the point of purchase. The company also considers the brand's ability to secure ongoing customer demand and other factors to determine the brand’s ultimate rank.

Several criteria must be met in order for Interbrand to be consider a company for the Best Global Brands list. Publicly available financial data must be available, at least one-third of revenues need to come from outside its country of origin, and the company has to be a “market-facing brand.”

“Apple is the classic example of retaining focus through market cycles,” write Josh Feldmeth and Helen Isakovich in the report. The duo compared Apple favorably to The Gap, which they said has lost focus on the brand.

Apple’s board of directors includes Millard Drexler, whose previous work includes a stint as CEO of The Gap from 1995 until 2002.

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