NEW YORK: For the eighth year in succession Coca-Cola remains the globe's top-valued brand, judged by three key criteria: that a brand must derive at least a third of its earnings outside its home country; be recognizable beyond its base of customers; and have publicly available marketing and financial data.

Coke ticked all three boxes to again head the BusinessWeek/Interbrand 2008 Best Global Brands annual listing, which evaluates brand value in the same way as any other corporate asset: How much is it likely to earn for the company in the future?

The study uses a combination of analysts' projections, company financial documents, and its own qualitative and quantitative analysis to arrive at a net present value of those earnings.

The 2008 data relegates Vista-hobbled Microsoft from second to third ranking, ousted by IBM thanks to its expanded services and outsourcing production beyond US shores. GE occupied fourth place fourth, courtesy of its Ecomagination communications program, and Nokia retains fifth place. 

The results will also be discussed today (Monday) at the BusinessWeek Best Global Brands Summit in New York City.

To view the complete one hundred best global brands 2008 listings click here.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff