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Chris Hill: Interbrand came out with the annual list of the Top 100 Global Brands: Coca-Cola
Tim Hanson: Guys, why did that happen? (laughter)
Rich Greifner: Yeah, was there any news related to that? It must have been something?
Hill: You might have heard a little something earlier in the year. Not a great year for BP, particularly from a brand standpoint. As investors, how important is a brand to you, and what did you make of the list?
Hanson: Well, brands are good to have. They're valuable, especially when you're a consumer company. You'll notice most of the brands on the list are very consumer-oriented. Coke at No. 1 sticks out. This is a global business that's succeeding in many, many countries using its flagship Coca-Cola beverage and other well-known beverages. Sprite has made the list as well. That's a Coke product. So brand matters, and brand has value.
Greifner: A brand has value, but you also have to support that brand. And I'll point out that every company has a brand. I mean, Jordache jeans has a brand, but it's not as valuable now as it was back in the day.
James Early: Those are fighting words.
Greifner: I noticed James is wearing Jordache right now. Sorry about that.
Early: Acid wash.
Greifner: But a name that sticks out to support that is McDonald's
Hill: James, what did you make of the list?
Early: Well, you know, Chris, this is a survey conducted by some consulting company, but as an investor, I can say that the point of a brand is to let you charge more than you could otherwise charge without the brand. So for example, you buy Coca-Cola, you pay a bit more than for some generic or no-name brand soda. It basically all costs the same.
But I have to question this list, because No. 40 is Citigroup, and I don't know that I would pay extra to have the privilege of patronizing Citigroup.
Hanson: Well, the other questionable ones in the top -- Nokia's up there. Is Nokia ahead of Apple?
Greifner: Nokia's way ahead of Apple.
Early: Apple's 17th.
Hanson: That seems odd, and there are a couple more quirky ones that stick out.
Greifner: HP in the top 10.
Early: IBM No. 2.
Hanson: I don't even know what IBM does anymore. Are they computers? Are they software? (laughter)
Hill: Tim, what about some brands that are stronger overseas than they'd be here at home?
Hanson: Well, one of the ones that popped up on this Top 100 is Kentucky Fried Chicken, which I think among American consumers is sort of considered an also-ran. I mean, you don't have a lot of people running out to go to KFC or take their hot date to KFC on Friday. Maybe James …
Early: Yeah, that was my problem …
Hanson: … but in China, for example, KFC is a huge, national, nationwide brand, and the food is priced higher than what you would consider fast or street food over there, so it actually is sort of an impressive date location. So interesting how those things happen.
Hill: Five years from now, what's going to be higher on the list in terms of brand strength: Apple or Google?
Hanson: I would say Google. Their hand is in more cookie jars, right now.
Early: I'm going with KFC. (laughter)
Greifner: I'll also go with Google. I mean, Apple has a very strong brand, but in order for that brand to still be strong in five years, you're going to have to come out with the iSomething. The iTV.
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Tim Hanson, James Early, Rich Greifner, and Chris Hill may own stocks discussed during the course of the weekly radio show, which airs on radio stations across America and on iTunes. To see the stocks they own, follow the links above to view their profiles.
Google, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Nokia are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple and Amazon.com are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Income Investor choice. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy looks fantastic in acid-washed jeans.
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