06 Mac, 2011

The 5 Best Global Brand 2009

No. 1: Coca-Cola

In a hard year for fizzy drink makers, Coke gained luster. Credit the über-successful Coke Zero, a no-cal beverage with a more macho image than Diet Coke.

No. 2: IBM

IBM has strived to make itself more broadly relevant by focusing on clean air and water, more efficient health care, and mass transportation.

No. 3: Microsoft

For the first time, Microsoft's sales slipped. Yet it also began forcefully taking on its rivals, launching the Bing search engine and advertising hard against Apple.

No. 4: General Electric

GE painted itself green with its "ecomagination" crusade. Now it aims to color itself healthy by pushing health-care solutions in underserved markets.

No. 5: Nokia

Nokia continues to lag in smartphones, but its reputation for robust construction, ease of use, and low-key style has helped it dominate mass-market handsets.