Their logos are everywhere. But branding is more than just a hip logo like Nike's swoosh or Shell's shell. It is more than the name of the company. Forbes explains it is the intangible perceptions people have about the product. "Put simply, your 'brand' is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name," Forbes reported. "It's everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering — both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin's-egg-blue box) and emotional (e.g. It's romantic). Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It's fixed. But your brand exists only in someone's mind." And yet, theses intangible perceptions have a value — some are worth billions of dollars. Every year Interbrand ranks brands by looking at how much profit companies make off the strength of their brand. Interbrand looks at many factors — such as the brand's future strength and how much the brand creates demands — to come up with a dollar value of the brand. Here are Interbrand's latest rankings of the top 10 global brands. Other links: See a poster with the top 100 brands as chosen by Interbrand. Tech brands dominate top global brands list

10 Hewlett-Packard

HP's brand was valued at $28.48 billion by Interbrand.

HP keeps its spot at No. 10. It continues evolving. HP's new chief strategy officer, Bill Veghte told All Things D. "Job One is making sure that as we have those conversations with customers, they see an HP that is unified around a set of constructs and offerings that deliver what they need. It's different from having offerings that are, by themselves, individually great. It's about having unifying themes and constructs." OK.

9 Disney

Brand value is $29.02 billion. Investment website Seeking Alpha called Disney a stock to hold onto forever. "When people hear about Disney, they often think of cartoons or Disneyland but this company is much more than that," Seeking Alpha said. "The company operates in many different areas and posts strong numbers year after year. When you consider how old this company is, it is very impressive that it can still grow like a new company."

8 Apple

Even with the death of its iconic CEO Steve Jobs, Apple is a brand force to reckon with, jumping in brand value 58 percent over the previous year to $33.49 billion. Andrew Tonner of The Motley Fool said Apple is often on the minds of investors. "The company successfully rewrote the rules of several industries, racking up fantastic returns for its shareholders in the process," he said. "And while the company was seemingly invincible in the past, it finds itself for the first time in recent memory with legitimate questions about its path forward."

7 Intel

Intel is inside the list of the top 10 brands with a brand value of $35.22 billion, 10 percent more than last year. The Register reported Intel CEO Paul Otellini wants to move Intel into "all levels of the tablet and handset markets." Reuters says the day after Intel beats Wall Street expectations, Intel shakes up its management by appointing a new COO.

6 McDonald's

Although McDonald's has a brand worth $35.59 billion, not everything it does goes well. The Street reported on how McDonald's promotion of the #McDStories hashtag on Twitter was supposed to get people to talk about positive experiences. Ha. People tweeted on mice, killing chicks for nuggets and less-than-PR-friendly experiences and reviews. Meanwhile, says Australian McDonald's franchises will secretly spray robbers with synthetic glow-under-ultraviolet-light DNA that makes it easy to catch and prosecute bad people.

5 GE

GE's brand value is steady at a mere $42.81 billion. The Wall Street Journal, however, said General Electric reported an 18 percent year-over-year drop in fourth quarter earnings. The profit at GE Capital, on the other hand, rose 58 percent. The company's products range, as Newsday put it, from "jet engines to light bulbs." And they are, according to the New York Times, one of eight major sponsors of Utah's Sundance Film Festival.

4 Google

So what if, as Reuters reports, Google missed its earnings target and its stocks dropped more than 8 percent, it is doing well in other respects. Such as its social network growing to 90 million users up from 40 million three months ago. And it is hard to complain about a brand worth $55.32 billion. Fortune also put it at the top of its "100 Best Companies to Work For."

3 Microsoft

Microsoft's brand is at $59.09 billion. And it recently reported stronger earnings than it expected. FastCo said its Windows Phone 7.5 Mango software is a hit with critics. And, of course, who doesn't love Bill Gates?


DailyFinance said IBM met expectations in the fourth quarter with a revenue of $29.5 billion. This with a brand estimated to be worth $69.91 billion. Bloomberg attributes IBM's more recent successes to recently retired CEO Sam Palmisano. Palmisano believed IBM's strength was offering complete solutions tailored to customers' needs. But as he said, "The CEO is not the brand."

1 Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola Co. takes the top spot as the world's most valuable brand — for the 12th year in a row. Intrabrand said Coke's brand was worth $71.86 billion. Not bad for, as Mumbrella put it, "hitting a vein in the human condition that has got so many people so unreasonably excited about a bottle of fizzy sugar water." Intrabrand's Global CEO, Jez Frampton, told the Huffington Post, "Coca-Cola continues to be successful because its brands are about head and heart," And with 1.7 billion servings sipped every day, it is also a brand on everybody's tongue.