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Apple Beats Google Into No. 2 Position, Becomes World's Top Brand

Ikea, Starbucks, and Al Jazeera Feature Too In the Top Five

What does Apple have in common with Google, Ikea, Starbucks, and Al Jazeera? Answer: it has been rated one of the "most influential brands of 2004" in a survey conducted by the online magazine, Brandchannel. In fact, Apple came in at No. 1 - edging out Google, which took the top slot in the same survey one year ago.

Some 2,000 advertising executives, brand managers, and academics were asked: "Which brand had the most impact on your life in 2004?"

Asked why he thought Al Jazeera, the Arab News Channel, had made the list of "most influential brands," Brandchannel Editor Robin Rusch said, somewhat controversially:

"With all the news from Iraq and Afghanistan and the 'war on terror', a lot of people are really tuned into the news, and the major news sources have a western bias."

He added: "I think people are tuning in to al-Jazeera and looking at its website because it does offer another viewpoint. For the global community, it's one of the few points of access we have to news from the region with a different perspective."

Less contentious is Rusch's view on why Apple has edged Google out of the No.1 slot.

"The iPod is what has put Apple in the lead this year," he said. "Apple's just done an extraordinary job with innovation, technology and design."

Google's co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page probably took comfort in the fact that Google Inc.'s share price has doubled since they took the company public last year. You can't put the "most influential brand" title in the bank, after all. They can also console themselves, as Rusch pointed out, with the thought of how much growth potential Google still has: only 12.7 percent of the world's population has access to the Internet right now, leaving 5.6 billion potential future Googlers out there.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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