Google, Apple, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, & Ikea, In That Order

What do Google, Apple, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, & Ikea all have in common? They were all five voted as the biggest brands in a poll conducted Interbrand, a major UK advertising agency. More interestingly, they were voted in that order, placing #2 Apple above marketing behemoth Coca-Cola and mainstream powerhouse Starbucks. Thatis officially not too shabby for a company often dismissed by pundits as A.) Going out of Business Soon™, and B.) nothing more than a niche technology player that is no longer relevant. Perhaps those pundits will note todayis news.

The bigger news, at least as far as the mainstream world is concerned, is that Google itself earned some15% of the pollis vote to take the #1 spot. Google has become its own powerhouse, and has done so without the aid of such devices as "advertising," especially on TV. Thereis little doubt that Coca-Cola wishes it could claim the same, as that company spends more on advertising in a single year as many a small country. Google beat out Apple for the #1 spot, though Apple claimed that position in last yearis poll.

Interbrand also says that Apple came in #2 in the US and Canada, having been beaten by Target for the #1 slot. This follows the same trend as last yearis poll, where Target again took the #1 spot, followed by Apple in that region in that poll. Apple didnit place in the Top 10 in any other portions of the world. From the report issued by Interbrand:

Not far behind Google is Apple with 14 percent of the vote (last yearis Readersi Choice number one global Brand of the Year). Beloved by a small but vocal contingency, Apple has an overall market share of less than 3 percent worldwide and less than 5 percent in the US, its "strongest" market. Nevertheless its steady array of new product releases and cheeky David-to-Goliath positioning makes it hard not to notice and perhaps explains why our readers tend to favor it.

Caffeinated treats Coca-Cola and Starbucks are third (12 percent) and fourth (11 percent) with furnishings retailer Ikea setting up home at fifth place with 10 percent of the readersi global vote.

US & Canada: Bullis-eye
In the United States and Canada, Target takes the lead with 19 percent of the vote based on 1,983 respondents in this section. Apple follows close behind at 18 percent, showing a similar trend to the 2001 results where Target took top prize and Apple pulled in second.

North Americans clearly have strong feelings about their coffee and doughnuts as retail coffee house Starbucks and doughnut joint Krispy Kreme received 13 and 12 percent of the vote respectively; both of these brands have been tirelessly expanding to bring a hot steaming cup of coffee and a freshly glazed doughnut to an outpost near you. Tying with Krispy Kreme is the fashionably cheap New York-based airline, JetBlue.

Target, Apple, Starbucks and Krispy Kreme were all in the top ten US and Canada category last year, and their continued impact is not surprising given that they are all brands that are expanding and innovating on a regular basis. However, JetBlueis rise from 11th place in 2001 to tie at fourth place in 2002 is evidence of fast-growing interest in this three-year-old brand. Proving that cheap doesnit necessarily mean nasty, JetBlue offers leather seats, personal TV units, efficient ticketing, on-time arrival and departure and above all, excellent customer service. After 2002is abysmal showing for commercial airlines, itis astonishing that JetBlueis revenue grew by 98 percent.

Coca-Cola, among last yearis top five winners, slips down to number seven in 2002, contrary to its rise in the global section where it rose from tenth to third.

You can find more information on the subject in the report issued by Interbrand.