Brandchannel, the online resource dedicated to brands and produced by global advertising behemoth Interbrand, has announced its 2004 Readers' Choice Awards. Compiled from the votes of almost 2,000 brandchannel readers from 75 countries, the Awards recognise the brands that had the most impact during the year. By 'impact', the meaning could be both positive or negative.
The global award went to US technology company Apple, largely on the strength of its iPod music technology. Second place went to the search engine / online advertising distributor Google, with Swedish furniture giant IKEA and American coffee brand Starbucks voted third and fourth respectively. A somewhat surprising choice at fifth place was the Arabic news channel Al Jazeera, reflecting both the focus events during the year and also perhaps the ambiguity of the term 'impact'. BMW's Mini brand was voted sixth and Coca-Cola seventh, while Richard Branson's Virgin brand was number eight. Online auction house eBay and Finnish mobile technology giant Nokia were ninth and tenth respectively in the global top ten.
In the Europe and Africa region the awards were dominated by local - as opposed to US - brands. IKEA came in first ahead of Virgin and Swedish clothing giant H&M. Nokia was voted fourth and Al Jazeera fifth.
This survey presents a fascinating barometer of brand recognition at the top level. Though in this case success is probably its own reward and the companies responsible are likely more concerned with movements up or down compared to previous years than in the 'Awards' themselves.