Brandchannel.com runs an annual Readers' Choice Survey to determine what brands have had the most resonance with the public over the previous year. Unsurprisingly, search engine giant Google topped the 2003 global list, followed closely by Apple
Third on the global list, for example, was MINI, now a sub-brand of BMW, which has gained an enormous amount of notoriety over the last year in conjunction with the highly acclaimed re-launch of the Mini Cooper. Next came Coca-Cola
Branding occasionally gets short shrift when people are valuing companies. A brand doesn't show up on a company's asset account, so money spent for branding purposes can seem to be wasteful -- indeed, much of it is. But when a company that provides a nearly un-differentiable product shows up as the No. 1 brand in 2003 for all of Latin America, that shows the power these investments can have.
That's exactly what happened with Mexican cement giant Cemex
Of course, looking at past results, at least one thing suggests to me that you can't assume that brand power is always a good thing: In 2002, already-disgraced-and-disbanded accounting firm Arthur Andersen made the list at No. 67.
Brands are among the most powerful, and yet fragile bases upon which companies can be built. Amazon.com
This survey, unscientific though it is, shows that no such internal or external threat has found purchase at Amazon yet.
Bill Mann owns shares of Cemex. He's a fan of the power of the brand.