There are few surprises among the Olympians occupying the the ten top slots in the this year's Top 100 Global Brands survey from consultancy Interbrand and Business Week magazine.

All but two, Nokia and Toyota, hail from the USA. While only Toyota (number eleven in 2003) -- enters 2004's leading tensome, otherwise notable only for marginal shifts in ranking.

Brand rankings are calculated by figuring out what percentage of a company's revenues can be credited to a brand. (The brand may be almost the entire company, as with McDonald's; or just a single product/range, for example as Marlboro.)

Based on reports from analysts at J P Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, Interbrand projects earnings and sales for the brand over a five year period -- less operating costs, taxes and a charge for the capital employed. It then strips out intangibles to assess what portion of those earnings is attributable to the brand.

The brand's strength is assessed to determine the risk profile of those earnings forecasts. Considerations include market leadership, stability, and global reach -- from which a net present value is calculated. The report's sponsors believe this figure comes closest to representing a brand's true economic worth.

This is the current lineup at the top of the pile …

St Mary's


2004 Brand Value
$ millions

2003 Brand Value
$ millions

% Variance


Country of origin
1  1 Coca-Cola   67,394 70,453 –4% USA
2  2 Microsoft 61,372 65,174 -6% USA
3 3 IBM 53,791 51,767 +4% USA
4 4 GE 44,111 42,340 +4% USA
5 5 Intel 33,499 31,112 +8% USA
6 7 Disney 27,113 28,036 -3% USA
7 7 McDonald's 25,001 24,699 +1% USA
8 6 Nokia 24,041 29,440 -18% Finland
9 11 Toyota 22,673 20,784 +9% Japan
10 9 Marlboro 22,128 22,183 0% USA

Comments Interbrand: "This year's rankings rewarded companies that build communities around their products and services creating cult brands that enable customers to feel as if they own the brand."

The full one hundred ranked listings and accompanying report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Data sourced from: Interbrand; additional content by WARC staff