The World's Best Brands

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Big brands mean big profits. Following the world's best brands can help lead you to profitable investments. And to help you along that path, Interbrand recently released its list of the Top 100 Global Brands.

As a global consultancy, Interbrand evaluates three main areas when determining a brand's value: the brand's role in purchasing decisions, the financial performance of the branded products, and the ability of the brand to generate future earnings for the company. That methodology is important, because a brand means nothing if it can't generate outsized profits for its owner.

Once again leading Interbrand's list is Coca-Cola (NYS: KO) . It's the 12th straight year the king of pop has topped the list. That's part of the reason the world's greatest investor, Warren Buffett, loves his Coke. But more surprising is the gain notched by another company: Apple's (NAS: AAPL) brand gained 58% in value, vaulting the tech company into the top 10 for the first time ever.

Here's a look at the top 10, along with Interbrand's calculation of the company's brand value and the year-over-year change from 2010.

Company

Brand Value (Billions)

Change in Brand Value

1. Coca-Cola

$71.9

2%

2. IBM (NYS: IBM)

$69.9

8%

3. Microsoft (NAS: MSFT)

$59.1

(3%)

4. Google (NAS: GOOG)

$55.3

27%

5. General Electric (NYS: GE)

$42.8

0%

6. McDonald's (NYS: MCD)

$35.6

6%

7. Intel (NAS: INTC)

$35.2

10%

8. Apple

$33.5

58%

9. Walt Disney (NYS: DIS)

$29.0

1%

10. Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ)

$28.5

6%

Source: Interbrand.com.

The tech sector was well represented in this list of titans. According to Interbrand, "Seven of the top 10 brands (IBM, Microsoft, Google, GE, Intel, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard), four of the five biggest risers ... and the one of the few new entrants to the Best Global Brands report (HTC, the mobile-device maker in Taiwan) all hail from within the tech sector."

The consultancy also noted the resiliency of automotive brands and pointed to the strong performance of luxury brands, too.

You can see the full list of the Top 100 brands, and you can keep track of the companies behind the brands by using our watchlist feature to deliver our content straight to your virtual mailbox.

At the time this article was published Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns shares of McDonald's and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola, IBM, Intel, Apple, Microsoft, and Google.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Intel, Google, Apple, McDonald's, Microsoft, Walt Disney, and Coca-Cola, as well as creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft, Apple, and Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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