NEW YORK: Coca-Cola is the world's most valuable brand, at $68.7 billion (€46.7bn; £42.0bn), according to the latest annual rankings from Interbrand and Business Week, but the net worth of the top 100 such assets has also fallen for the first time in the survey's history during the financial crisis.
The annual Interbrand/Business Week poll, which is in its ninth year of operation, adopts a distinct methodology when compared to alternative approaches such as Millward Brown's BrandZ.
Featured brands must make a large amount of financial data public, derive at least 33% of their revenues from outside their home market, be "market facing", and not solely business-to-business orientated.
Based on these criteria, the two companies reported that the value of 100 biggest global brands is down by 4.6% year-on-year in 2009, from $1.21 trillion to $1.16 trillion.
However, Coke successfully managed to buck this trend, with an uptick of 3%, as did IBM, in second place, up by 2%, to $60.2bn.
Microsoft, down by 4%, to $56.6bn, General Electric, off by 10%, to $47.8bn, and Nokia, which registered a decrease of 3%, to $34.9bn, made up the top five.
By contrast, McDonald's, up 4% to $32.3bn, and Google, up 25% to $32.0bn, are both now worth more than in 2008, and took sixth and seventh places respectively.
Toyota, in eighth, saw its valuation slide by 8%, to $31.3bn, with Intel slipping by 2%, to $30.6bn, and Disney by 3%, to $28.4bn, with these three properties closing out the top ten.
Alongside Google, Amazon was one of the fastest-growing assets, up 22%, to $7.9bn, on an annual basis, with Zara improving by 14%, to $6.8bn, and Nestlé by 13%, to $6.3bn.
Unsurprisingly, a large number of financial brands travelled in the opposite direction, with UBS down by half, to $4.4bn, and falling 31 places in the rankings, to number 72, as a result.
Similarly, American Express saw a decline of 32%, to $15.0bn, with Morgan Stanley also down by 26%, to a total of $6.4bn.
Moreover, Merrill Lynch, last year's number 34, AIG, previously number 54, and ING, number 86 in 2008, fell off the list altogether.
Among the non-financial brands, Harley-Davidson was the biggest loser, recording an annual decline of 43%, to $4.3bn.
Looking at the auto industry more broadly, Audi was one of the few major players said to have "prospered" in the last 12 months, despite the fact its brand value fell by 7%, to $5bn, in this period.
Lancôme was the highest-placed new entry, at 91, and valued at $3.2bn, with Burger King, Adobe, Puma, Burberry, PoloRalphLauren and Campbell's among the other debutants in this year's list.
More than 50% of the top 100 brands were based in the US, with 11 headquartered in Germany, nine in France, and seven in Japan.
Data sourced from Interbrand; additional content by WARC staff