In today's video, senior technology analyst Eric Bleeker and consumer goods editor/analyst Austin Smith discuss an incredibly easy way to crush the markets that seems too good to be true: Buy great companies. Of course, what constitutes a "great company" is up for debate, but fortunately for investors there is a shortcut that's staring us all right in the face -- a company's brand. A brand is an intangible asset that's difficult to put a hard value to, but we all know those companies that have the best ones: Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Apple, just to name a few. There are a handful of oft-cited brand rankings that investors can use in building market-crushing portfolios. Eric and Austin backtest just one from 2001 with impressive results.

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Austin Smith owns shares of McDonald's and Coca-Cola. Eric Bleeker owns no shares of the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, International Business Machines, and Coca-Cola. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, McDonald's, Nokia, and Coca-Cola. 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.