The votes are in, and the top brand in the world is... Google. The Internet search engine finished ahead of such household names as Coca-Cola and Starbucks in voting by readers of

A strong brand can be one of a company's most important assets. It can provide a strong competitive advantage that keeps consumers coming back for more and more.

The power of a strong brand is perhaps best summed up by this paragraph from our Rule Breaker strategy page: "We look for companies with strong consumer appeal. All else being equal, a company that imprints its logo in the minds of the public stands a better chance of surviving than one that does not. A strong brand serves to attract, to habituate, to profit, and to protect."

According to the survey, here are the brands that had the most impact on respondents' lives in 2002:



2. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)

3. Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO)

4. Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX)

5. Ikea

U.S. & Canada

1. Target (NYSE: TGT)

2. Apple

3. Starbucks

4. JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU)

5. Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD)


1. LG Electronics

2. Samsung

3. PlayStation (NYSE: SNE)

4. Sony Ericsson

5. Toyota (NYSE: TM)

Cental & South America

1. Corona

2. Bacardi

3. Café de Colombia

4. Telemundo

5. Bimbo

Europe & Africa

1. Nokia (NYSE: NOK)

2. Ikea

3. Mini

4. BMW

5. Absolut