Tech brands dominate top global brands list

NEW YORK (AP) ? We all want a bite out of Apple, according to a report valuing global brands out Tuesday.

The maker of the popular iPhone, iPad2, music players and computers was one of the biggest gainers in an annual marketing industry report on the top 100 global brands, jumping to No. 8 from No. 17, despite news that Chief Executive Steve Jobs is stepping down.

“It isn’t just the fact they make pretty products,” said Jez Frampton, CEO of Interbrand. “They’ve created an entire lifestyle and way of living.”

The value of Apple Inc.’s brand jumped this year due to the company’s success in establishing itself as the dominant player in the tablet market with its iPad, Frampton said.

“Looking at global intentions to purchase tablets, 85 percent of people considering a tablet say they want to buy an iPad,” Frampton said. “There isn’t a single other competitor above 5 percent.”

Coca-Cola Co. took the top spot for the 12th year in a row. The soda maker’s branding strength lies in the way its brand image permeates everything from its advertising and communications to its organizational culture, Frampton said.

Overall, tech brands dominated the list. PC maker IBM was number two, mainly because of its business-to-business branding efforts. Microsoft, Google, Intel and Hewlett-Packard all also ranked in the top 10.

Interbrand ranks companies by the amount of profit they make that is attributable to the strength of their brands. It uses a formula that combines the brand’s future strength and its role in creating demand, among other factors.

One of the biggest decliners was Nokia, which fell to 14th place from eighth. The Finnish cellphone maker, which once dominated the European cell phone market, has been cutting jobs and downsizing as it faces stiff smartphone competition from Apple, Research in Motion and others.

HTC, a Taiwanese cell phone maker, on the other hand, jumped onto the list at No. 98. It was the first time a Taiwanese company has made it into the top 100, Frampton said. The company makes smartphones including the HTC Evo that run on Google Inc.’s Android operating system.