Brand Management – The 25 Most Powerful Corporate Brands

The Coca-Cola Company is the most “powerful” global corporate brand, according to a recent CoreBrand report.

The organization compiled its 2014 rankings by polling 10,000 professionals on their impressions of the top brands at the company level, not individual products or divisions. Respondents were asked to rate the power of brands based on two criteria: familiarity (is the brand well known?) and preference (does the brand have a positive reputation, well-regarded management and good investment potential?).

Coca-Cola has been ranked number one since 2008, when CoreBrand released its first study. The gap between it and Hershey, the second brand in the ranking, is the largest between two brands successively mentioned on the list (2.8 points). had the biggest gain over the previous year, jumping 25 positions to rank 91st. IBM was the second highest gainer, up 15 positions to rank 49th.

Among the top 25 brands, Microsoft recorded the biggest gain, up nine positions to number 11. Microsoft has gained 34 positions since 2008. Google is the biggest overall gainer since 2008, up 90 positions to number 26.

UPS, Walgreens and CBS have suffered the most losses over the past year: UPS has fallen from 11th to 22nd place; Walgreens dropped from 12th to 23rd; and CBS went from 58th to 69th. Of the top 10, Kellogg suffered the biggest loss, dropping four positions from 5th to 9th. CBS saw the biggest drop since 2008, dropping 48 positions from its high rank of 21st.

Below are additional findings from CoreBrand and the top 25 enterprise brands on the list. (The Top 100 list can be accessed here.)

Ad spend

  • The top 5 winners on the Top 100 list reduced their ad spend by just 17.5% on average in 2009 during the economic downturn; this compares to a reduction of 34.8% on average for the five brands with the largest declines.
  • By 2010, the top 5 winning corporate brands had increased their investments from 2008 levels, while it took declining companies until 2012 to restore investments to 2008 levels.


  • Overall, the top 100 brands have shown resilience in both familiarity and preference with survey respondents since 2008, with most showing only slight declines during the economic downturn.
  • Since the 2010 low, the top 25 brands have gained 0.2 points in their average scores; brands ranked 26 to 50 are up 1.8 points; brands 51 to 75 increased by 2.6 points; and the 76 to 100 marks are up 3.2 points.

About Research: The report was based on data from a survey of 10,000 professionals. Respondents were asked to rate the power of brands based on their familiarity and preference. The full methodology can be accessed here.

Cathy W. Howerton