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The New Global Brands

The branding consultancy Interbrand recently released the results of its 2004 Reader's Choice Awards. The survey asked online respondents to list the brands they felt had the most impact on their lives last year. The top few on the list below, which represents the global winners, should prompt little surprise, but the incredible climb of Arab news network Al Jazeera—or fall of Volkswagen (from #2 in 2001 to #25 in 2004)—is pretty amazing, indeed.

    Interbrand's 2004 Readers' Choice Awards
  • Apple
  • Google
  • Ikea
  • Starbucks
  • Al Jazeera
  • Mini
  • Coca-Cola
  • Virgin
  • eBay
  • Nokia

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  • Dennis Posadas

    A recent article in the NY Times, "The Chinese Way to Brand Identity" by William J. Holstein published February 13, 2005 partially went this way...

    "Q. Many Chinese enterprises are controlled by the Communist Party. How can they understand world markets?

    A. The situation is changing. The Shanghai government has a controlling interest in SAIC, but this is definitely a government that understands business. The state players are learning fast. We also see the emergence of private companies."

    During the course of my research for my book on Asian high technology and venture capital (Rice Bowl & Chips, ISBN 0-595-34583-2), I found out that the Chinese Communist Party indeed understands business.

    Lenovo itself (formerly Legend) was a tech spinoff from the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Normally, most readers would associate the Communist Party with a protectionist mentality. But lo and behold - many of the CAS startups were actually allowed to fail and fend for themselves against market forces. This resulted in strong companies like Lenovo, which are now starting to become household names. Not only that, there are other manifestations of their deep understanding of business which are not apparent on the surface.

    It is as if the Party leaders read Schumpeter and his ideas on creative destruction.

    Dennis Posadas
    author, "Rice Bowl & Chips"