TOKYO: Google, Panasonic and Microsoft are the three most highly-regarded corporate brands among business leaders and consumers in Japan, new research shows.

Nikkei Research, the insights provider, polled 30,793 shoppers and 12,451 executives, asking their opinions about 560 domestic and international companies on a range of different criteria.

Google, the online giant, topped the charts for the second successive year, and was credited by Nikkei Research for innovations such as its popular Android mobile operating system.

While the professionals questioned ranked Google in first place, it only took ninth among the public panel, although this marked an improvement from 2010, and was still enough to take pole position overall.

Panasonic climbed from eighth spot in 2010 to second in 2011, a process assisted by its roll out of eco-friendly products, a trend also helping Sharp rise to ninth and Toshiba reach 13th.

Microsoft fell from second to third in the Nikkei study, praised by business leaders for its attractiveness at the corporate level, but consumers ranked the company behind Google in terms of "originality".

Canon, the imaging and photography specialist, claimed fourth, measured against sixth last year, and was lauded by the executives interviewed for the quality of its products.

Sony, which occupied third spot in the 2010 standings, dropped to fifth position, largely as a result of data breaches linked to its Sony Online Entertainment games service and PlayStation Network.

The Oriental Land Group, running Disney's resort in Tokyo, climbed from eighth to 14th, not least due to its attempts to look after visitors following the earthquake and tsunami in March.

Data sourced from Nikkei Research; additional content by Warc staff