Surprised Businesswoman

Image source: Getty Images.

Behind the world's most successful businesses, you'll typically find a collection of blockbuster brands -- products that millions of consumers make essential to their lives by loyal, frequent use.

Alphabet CEO Larry Page likes to apply what he calls the "toothbrush test" to evaluate brands. As in: "Is it something you will use once or twice a day, and does it make your life better?"

Below are a few jaw-dropping statistics regarding brands that, in passing this test with flying colors, helped create fortress-like businesses around them.

1. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) accounts for 1.9 billion -- or 3.3% -- of all servings of beverages consumed around the world each day. A decade ago, Coke's percentage of the world's daily drink consumption stood at 2.6%.

2. There are now over 1 billion active devices that span Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) deep offering of consumer technology. Many of these, like iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch, travel along with their owners, while Mac computers and Apple TV devices are more stationary. The company has had to significantly ramp up its research and development spending to support this growing portfolio, spending $8 billion last year compared to $6 billion in 2014 and $4.5 billion in 2013.

3. Pampers is the biggest of Procter & Gamble's (NYSE:PG) 21 consumer brands that each generates over $1 billion of annual sales. The diaper product line is sold in 180 countries and accounts for more than $10 billion of revenue each year.

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Image source: P&G.

4. Gillette dominates the global blades and razors market and is the primary force behind P&G's 65% share of the industry. Brand loyalty easily extends into new product introductions -- 25 million men tried the FlexBall product within 18 months of its launch.

5. Kroger's Simple Truth brand was the biggest factor behind its success at stealing market share from higher-end supermarket chains like Whole Foods. Just over two years from its launch, the natural and organic franchise is a $2 billion annual business that Kroger now plans to extend into home supplies, personal care, and baby products.

6. Band-Aid bandages were invented a century ago by a Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) employee who wanted to help his wife treat the frequent cuts and burns she suffered while preparing meals. In 1921, they became the first commercial dressings for small wounds and J&J has since sold over 100 billion of them worldwide.

7. Disney owns 11 consumer product brands that pull in over $1 billion of annual sales. Frozen, Avengers, and Star Wars are the most recent entries to that list. They join perennial blockbusters like Mickey, Disney Princess, Monsters, and Cars. Disney's consumer products division trumps all of its other segments in terms of profitability.

8. Seventy percent of all households in the world contain at least one Unilever product, likely including some of the consumer goods giant's best-known brands, Lipton, Knorr, Hellman's, Axe, and Dove.

9. According to video game titan Activision Blizzard, people spent a collective 14 billion hours playing its titles last year. The developer's biggest brands -- Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Skylanders -- haven't changed much in the last few years. However, its reliance on those three blockbusters has dropped thanks to new properties like Hearthstone and the recently purchased mobile hit Candy Crush.

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Image source: Activision Blizzard.

10. Forty million U.S. households used Tide last year, which made it the leading laundry detergent by sales. P&G is seeing some of its most profitable growth from this category and hopes to extend its lead through innovations like the recent purclean product aimed at a growing pool of consumers who are looking for more natural laundry solutions.

11. Oreo, one of Mondelez's (NASDAQ:MDLZ) seven biggest brands, is the world's top-selling cookie, responsible for $2.9 billion of annual revenue. Mondelez produces over 40 billion Oreo cookies a year in a range of flavors including orange and mango for the China market and blueberry ice cream in India.

Big brands often take decades to establish. Once they've captured a loyal following, though, these franchises provide a deep defensive moat against even the most well-financed competitor. 

John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Apple, Walt Disney, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Activision Blizzard, Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, Johnson and Johnson, Walt Disney, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola, Procter and Gamble, and Unilever. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.