Microsoft brand value soars--Interbrand

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Microsoft is on track to eclipse Coca-Cola as the world's most valuable brand, according to a new survey from Interbrand, the New York-based brand consultancy. Despite negative media coverage surrounding the antitrust ruling against Microsoft Corp., its brand value increased 24% from last year to $70.2 billion. Coca-Cola, meanwhile, fell 13% to $72.5 billion, according to the survey. Interbrand's annual survey identifies the top 75 global brands with a value of greater than $1 billion. To be selected, a brand had to generate significant earnings in the main global markets; 25 mainstream industries, including technology, leisure and automobiles, were examined. And only companies for which public data were available were included.

The report showcases the growing brand value of technology companies over old economy stalwarts. Tech companies topped the survey, with IBM, Intel and Nokia rounding out the top five. And the tech industry as a whole showed the biggest increase in brand value in the past 12 months, with the majority of tech companies in the report showing double-digit value growth.

Internet companies experienced the highest growth in the past year. Yahoo! saw a 258% growth in brand value to $6.3 billion, while jumped 233% in brand value to $4.5 billion.

But old economy behemoths are still forces in their own right, with General Electric ranking sixth at $38.1 billion, Ford ranking seventh at $36.4 billion and McDonald's ninth at $27.8 billion.

From an international perspective, 42 of the 75 companies in the report are U.S.-based. However, U.S. companies are lagging in key sectors such as automotive and telecommunications--Ford is the only U.S. carmaker to make the list (Mercedes is ranked No. 12 and Toyota No. 15, for example), while Nokia beat out AT&T, which is ranked tenth.

Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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