NEW YORK: Coca-Cola has topped a list of the US corporate assets with the most "brand power", and is regarded as having extremely high levels of "familiarity" and "favourability" by senior decision-makers from the top 20% of American companies, according to CoreBrand.

The soft drinks giant retained its top ranking from last year, and is planning to further expand its global operations in 2009, although its $2.4 billion (€1.8bn; £1.7bn) bid for the Huiyuan Juice Group was recently blocked by the Chinese government.

Johnson & Johnson was ranked in second place, followed by Harley-Davidson, which leapfrogged Hershey Foods in fourth, while the Campbell Soup Company was ranked in fifth overall.

Hallmark, UPS, Colgate-Palmolive, FedEx and Kellogg made up the top ten, with the latter rising by five places from its position in 2007.

German auto maker BMW also rose by four places to 12th, while Starbucks fell by the same number to 14th from the tenth position it occupied in 2007.

Procter & Gamble has also dropped from 31st in 2005 to 39th in 2008, with General Motors has slipped from 30th to 41st over the same period.

James Gregory, ceo of CoreBrand, said that while the economic downturn is not creating a "brand crisis", it has meant certain brands are being "run over" because they are "not stronger than the underlying financials of a corporation."

The company received more than 12,000 completed surveys from US companies over 49 industries, with respondents being at vice-president level or above.

Data sourced from Marketing Charts; additional content by WARC staff