Story of the 2000-2010 Decade Told By Brand Values

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James T. Berger
Senior Marketing Writer

Published December 1, 2010

The turbulent decade that is about to end can best be seen in the values and ranking of brands through the 10 year period.  While most brands continue to hold their rankings in the annual Business Week/Interbrand annual ratings, there have been some notable exceptions and these newcomers and departers tell the story of the decade.

The Perennials

The “perennials” are those brands that have held their own consistently through the decade.  Starting with Coca-Cola, the undisputed undefeated king of brands, this brand easily holds on to its No. 1 ranking.

Other Top 10 brands that have held their own throughout the decade include: IBM, Micosoft, GE, Intel, McDonald’s, Disney and Nokia.

The High-Tech Roller Coaster

Google sits at No. 4 in the 2010 rankings.  In 2000, Google had not even cracked the Top 100.  Yahoo, on the other hand, has maintained its place over the decade dispute all the turbulence.  It ranked 59th in 2000 64th in 2010.  Amazon, another creation of the era ranked 76th in 2000 and now ranks at 36th. Ebay was not among the Top 100 in 2009 but sits at 43rd in 2010.  AOL, a major high-tech player in 2000, with a ranking of 58th has disappeared from the Top 100.

The Extinct Brands

Perhaps the decade’s most battered brands is AT&T. A major marketplace force in 2000 with a rating of 10, AT&T has virtually disappeared from the landscape.  The company virtually disappeared early in the decade but the brand name was resurrected by SBC only because AT&T carries more magic than SBC.  However, in the Business Week/Interbrand rankings for 2010, AT&T is not among the top 100 perhaps because it is simply a shell brand.  The unpopularity of tobacco has had an impact on one of America’s megabrands, Marlboro. Ranked 11th in 2000, this brand has completely disappeared from the Top 100. Merrill Lynch, which went under during the recent recession, was ranked at 19 in 2000 and is unranked today.

The Troubled Brands

Major unpleasantness has had its effect on a number of brands.  BP, for example, was ranked 74th in 2000, but was unranked in 2010.  Citibank was 13th in 2000 but has fallen to 40th in 2010.  However, Toyota, which went through the trauma of a major recall, actually saw its brand rating increase – from 14th in 2000 to 11th in 2010.  On the other hand, Ford, has fallen from 8th in 2000 to 50th in 2010, even though it is the one U.S. auto company that did not have to be bailed out by the U.S. government.  (Since GM and Chrysler brands are not listed in the Interbrand scorecard, Ford apparently has taken the brunt of the hit on Detroit’s reputation.)

Major Newcomers

The decade of 2000 to 2010 has seen the emergence of a whole group of new brands such as: Gucci, unranked in 2000 but ranked 44th in 2010; Zara, unranked in 2000 but ranked 48th in 2010 , and Hyundai, unranked in 2000 but ranked 65th in 2010.

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About The Author

James T. Berger headshot
James T. Berger, Senior Marketing Writer of The Wiglaf Journal, through his Northbrook-based firm, James T. Berger/Market Strategies, offers a broad range of marketing communications, research and strategic planning consulting services. In addition, he provides expert services to intellectual property attorneys in the area of trademark infringement litigation. An adjunct professor of marketing at Roosevelt University, he previously has taught at Northwestern University, DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago and The Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BA), Northwestern University (MS) and the University of Chicago (MBA). Berger is an often-published free lance business writer who has developed more than 100 published articles in the last eight years. For more information, visit or telephone him at (847) 328-9633.