Internet firm Google has again pipped Apple to the top spot in a global brand ranking that also sees YouTube and Wikipedia debut in the top five, a survey showed on Friday.
The annual survey by online branding magazine brandchannel.com often throws up controversial results, such as in 2004, when Arabic TV station Al Jazeera was named the world's fifth most influential brand.
This year the 3,625 branding professionals and students who voted have again surprised, awarding upstart firms star status when asked: "Which brand had the most impact on our lives in 2006?".
The methodology of the study - polling advertising professionals - might well skew the results vs. a broad-based brand recognition survey. It's a good bet that 100% of those surveyed are computer users, most of them probably frequent users; that might explain the dominance of tech-oriented brands. In particular, the ascent of YouTube and Wikipedia is suspect - I'd guess there are large segments of the market that have no clue as to what these are.
The regional results are interesting. I wonder why Bimbo hasn't introduced its bread in the U.S.?
YouTube had an effect on someone's life in 2006? Wikipedia had an effect on someone's life in 2006? Okay, these are hot brands that people are talking about right now, but they don't seem like valid answers to the question that was asked.
>>YouTube had an effect on someone's life in 2006?
Clearly, a lot of time was spent there by a lot of people. Most probably didn't find it a life-altering experience, though. Then again, neither is drinking CocaCola, which certainly ranks as a top brand.