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Might as well keep that Coca-Cola on ice. The tallies are in, and the Real Thing is the real deal when it comes to world's best brand – again.

According to Interbrand's annual Best Global Brands report, Coca-Cola once more tops the charts as the word's most valuable, and recognized, brand. Coke, which posted 2010 sales of $35 billion, is followed by IBM, Microsoft, Google and GE, each of which also remains unchanged in its ranking from the previous year.

The one big shift: Apple, which climbed to eighth place from 17th a year ago. The only brand to climb by more rungs is Amazon.com, which ascended 10 spots to No. 26, from No. 36.

Among those that lost a good deal of footing: Nintendo and Yahoo!, both of which slipped by 10 slots. Nintendo now ranks 48, from 38 a year ago, and Yahoo! ranks 76, from 66.

The least-recognized brand on the list of 100, surprisingly to me, is Harley-Davidson, which shifted from 98 a year ago, in part a result of the poor economy.

So what does this ranking mean? According to Interbrand's report, "The Best Global Brands 2011," it means profitability, resonance and the ability to transcend cultural differences. Brands in the "ideal position to keep generating demand," perform well across 10 categories: clarity, commitment, responsiveness, protection, relevance, authenticity, differentiation, consistency, presence and understanding.

And, it might as well be added, effervescence.

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Latest posts by Lisa Biank Fasig
Lisa Biank Fasig
Lisa leads the creation of editorials and feature stories for COLLOQUY and oversees the work of contributing editors and writers. With 18 years of reporting experience, most in business and specifically consumer behavior, she is highly skilled at researching data and teasing out the trends. A background in graphic design enables her to see ideas in three dimensions and tell the story visually.
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