iPod Helps Apple Edge Out Google For #1 Global Brand

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A survey of branding professionals by Brandchannel released Sunday found that Apple Computer to be the worldis #1 brand in 2004, edging out Google, which had held the top position for the previous two years. The iPod and Appleis marketing for the digital media device was cited as a major contributor for Appleis increased branding. Rounding out the top five is Google, furniture and lifestyle company Ikea, ubiquitous coffee maker Starbucks, and Arabic news channel Al Jazeera.

"Itis hard to imagine a brand having a shinier year than Apple," Brandchannel said in its announcement. "Notably punctuated with iMacs, iPods and iTunes, Appleis 2004 presence was felt in the press, in ads and on the streets, with iPod coming to define the word iubiquitous.i Coupled with strong revenue, Apple reported a net profit of US$ 295 million in the last quarter of 2004 alone and a 2004 overall net income growth of 300 percent. Yes, 300 percent."

Appleis presence in the mainstream media has only increased in the early weeks of 2005 as analysts and pundits alike pour attention on the company for the newly announced Mac mini and iPod shuffle.

The survey included votes from some 8,098 branding professionals, and was intended to measure which brands have the most impact. "Impact" includes both positive and negative impacts, though the announcement from Brandchannel did not include specifics on each brandis voting, just which were found to have the most impact.

Apple was also voted the top brand in North America, one of four sub-regions also listed, along with Apple CEO Steve Jobs other job, Pixar. Pixar came in at #5 in the region, up from eighth in 2003, and 31st in 2002. Pixaris larger distributing partner, Disney, came in at #37 in 2004, far below animation king Pixar. Pixaris major 3D animation competitor, Dreamworks, came in below even that at #40.

"Still under the partnership thumb of its distributor Disney (and majority-owned by Appleis CEO Steve Jobs)," said Brandchannel, "Pixar released just one feature-length film in 2004: The Incredibles. Competitor DreamWorks, which placed 40th, released four films in 2004, including Shark Tale and Shrek II."

The top five brands in North America were: Apple, Google, Target, Starbucks, and Pixar.

You can find more information on Brandchannel, and read much more about the results of its annual survey, at the companyis Web site.

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