Top 7 Most Valuable Brands in 2011

Too many people talk about the value of a brand, but how many people really know what the value of a brand really means. To better understand this concept, we will define the value of a brand based on these three concepts:

Loyalty: The behavior of buying the same brand many times.

Equity: The attitudes, imagery, and emotions associated with a brand.

Health: The in-market competitiveness or strength of the brand; equity in thecontext of pricing, category, sensitivity, and brand substitutability.

Normally, it is common to calculate the value of a brand as the net present value of the earnings the brand is expected to generate and secure in the future. For 2011 and according to Brand Finance, the world’s leading valuation consultancy, these are the Top 7 Most Valuable Brands in 2011:

1. Google

2010 rank: 2

Country: USA

Brand value: $44.29 billion

Market cap: 143.02 billion

Brand Rating: AAA+

Industry: Internet computer software

Founded: Menlo Park, California (September 4, 1998)

Founder(s): Sergey M. Brin and Lawrence E. Page

Headquarters: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California, United States

Key people: Lawrence E. Page (CEO, co-Founder and president, products); Eric Schmidt (executive chairman), and Sergey M. Brin (co-founder and president, technology)

Revenue: $29.321 billion (2010)

Profit: $8.505 billion (2010)

Total assets: $57.851 billion (2010)

Employees: 24,400 (2010)

2. Microsoft

2010 rank: 5

Country: USA

Brand value: $42.80 billion

Market cap: $165.72 billion

Industry: Computer software, consumer electronics, digital distribution, computer hardware, video games, IT consulting, online advertising, retail stores, automotive software

Founded: Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 4, 1975

Founder(s): Bill Gates and Paul Allen

Headquarters: One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington, United States

Key people: Steve Ballmer (CEO); Brian Kevin Turner (COO), and Bill Gates (chairman)

Revenue: $62.484 billion (2010)

Profit: $18.760 billion (2010)

Total assets: $86.113 billion (2010)

Employees: 89,000 (2010)

3. Wal-Mart

2010 rank: 1

Country: USA

Brand value: $36.22 billion

Market cap: $154.32 billion

Industry: Retailing

Founded: October 31, 1962

Founder: Sam Walton

Headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas, US

Key people: Mike Duke (CEO); H Lee Scott (chairman of the executive committee of the board), and S Robson Walton (chairman)

Revenue: $408.21 billion (2009)

Net income: $14.33 billion

Employees: approx. 2,100,000 (2009)

4. IBM

2010 rank: 4

Country: USA

Brand value: $36.16 billion

Market cap: $189.72 billion

Industry: Computer systems, computer hardware and software, information technology consulting, and IT service management

Founded: Endicott, New York June 16, 1911

Headquarters: Armonk, New York, United States

Key people: Samuel J. Palmisano (chairman, president and CEO)

Revenue: $99.870 billion (2010)

Net income: $14.833 billion (2010)

Total assets: $113.452 billion

Employees: 426,751 (2010)

5. Vodafone

2010 rank: 7

Country: UK

Brand value: 30.67 billion

Market cap: 192.45 billion

Industry: Telecommunications

Founded: 1984

Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

Key people: Sir John Bond (chairman); Vittorio Colao (CEO); John Buchanan (deputy chairman), and Andy Halford (CFO)

Revenue: Pound 44.47 billion (2010)

Profit: Pound 8.645 billion (2010)

Total assets: Pound 156.98 billion (2010)

Employees: 84,990 (2010)

6. Bank of America

2010 rank: 12

Country: USA

Brand value: $30.62

Market cap: $120.19

Industry: Banking, financial services, and investment services

Founded: 1998 (as Bank of America Corp)

Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Key people: Charles O Holliday (chairman) and Brian Moynihan (president and CEO)

Revenue: $134.194 billion (2010)

Net income: $2.238 billion (2010)

Total assets: $2.264 trillion

Employees: 288,000 (2010)

7. GE

2010 rank: 6

Country: USA

Brand value: $30.50 billion

Market cap: $475.07 billion

Industry: Conglomerate

Founded: Schenectady, New York (1892)

Founder(s): Thomas Edison, Elihu Thomson, Edwin J Houston, and Charles A Coffin

Headquarters: 3135 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield, Connecticut, US

Key people: Jeffrey R. Immelt (chairman and CEO)

Revenue: $104.635 billion (2010)

Net income: $12.163 billion (2010)

Total assets: $751.216 billion (2010)

Employees: 287,000 (2010)

Source: Brandfinance, Rediff, Businessinsider, The Telegraph, Reuters
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Top 7 Golf Courses in the World

After investigating about this topic I found that there are so many different rankings for the Best Golf Courses. Hence and based on all the information I got from my investigation, this is the first post where the final ranking for the Top 7 Best Golf Courses in the World come from me. I hope you enjoy and you can always check the sources!

1. Cypress Point

Location: Pebble Beach, California, USA

Par/length: 72 / 6509 yards

Tel: +1 831 624 6444

Website: n/a

Green fee: Members only

Designer: Alister MacKenzie (1928)

Jutting out into the boiling Pacific, the par-3 16th hole at Cypress is one of the most photographed in golf. It’s also one of the most exclusive clubs in golf. Bob Hope, a doyen of the California golf circuit, once quipped: “One year they had a big membership drive at Cypress. They drove out 40 members.”

2. Pine Valley Golf Club

Location: Pine Valley, New Jersey, USA

Par/length: 70 / 7047 yards

Tel: +1 856 309 3203

Website: n/a

Green fee: Members only

Designer: George Crump/Harry Colt (1918)

One of the mainstays of any list of the world’s best courses, this private club near Philadelphia is a series of visually intimidating islands of greens, fairways and tees surrounded by sand, scrub, rough, woodland, water and steep drop-offs. Secluded by the pines, this club is a world of its own and steeped in history.

3. Pebble Beach Golf Links (tie)

Location: Pebble Beach, California, USA

Par/length: 72 / 6737 yards

Tel: +1 831 624 3811


Green fee: From $495

Designer: Jack Neville/Douglas Grant (1919)

TV pictures from this year’s US Open will lavish attention on Pebble’s iconic closing holes, but the real magic is to be found on the front nine. The most spectacular holes are five to eight, which are on the promontory between Stillwater Cove and the Pacific. For most visitors, though, it’s about the final two holes, scene of so many major moments (Watson’s chip-in, Nicklaus’ 1-iron flag-clatter). Is it worth the stupendous green fee? Yes, just once.

3. Augusta National (tie)

Location: Augusta, Georgia, USA

Par/length: 72 / 7435 yards

Tel: +1 706 667 6000


Green fee: Members only

Designer: Alister MacKenzie/Bobby Jones (1933)

When Bobby Jones retired from golf in 1930, he and Clifford Roberts looked to build a golf club. They discovered a 365-acre former fruit nursery in Augusta, where flowering plants and trees were in abundance. Construction began in 1931, and the course opened in 1933. It hosted the Augusta National Invitation Tournament in 1934, which became the Masters in 1939. Now one of the most iconic courses in golf is, sadly, also one of the most private.

5. Royal County Down (tie)

Location: Newcastle, County Down, UK

Par/length: 71 / 7181 yards

Tel:  +44 2843 723 314


Green fee: £50-£180

Designer: Old Tom Morris (1889)

Every blade is perfectly manicured, but the layout feels untouched by human hands as it snakes through heather and gorse. Against a backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne, the links stretches along the shores of Dundrum Bay, zig-zagging back and forth to provide a different view from virtually every hole.

5. St Andrews, Old Course (tie)

Location: St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Par/length: 72 / 6721 yards

Tel: +44 1334 466 666


Green Fee: £130

Designer: Mother nature

The Home of Golf, where the game was first played 600 years ago. Many visitors still say the place is an acquired taste, and it’s true you need to play it several times before you appreciate all the nuances – like the fact that the further right you go off the tee, towards the trouble, the easier your approach to the green. But it’s a ‘must play’.

7. Turnberry Ailsa

Location: Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland

Par/length: 70 / 7201 yards

Tel: +44 1655 334 032


Green fee: £190 (twilight £90 from 3.10pm)

Designer: MacKenzie Ross (1949)

The course was showcased at its very best during last year’s Open, where TV cameras on cranes captured the setting beautifully. Most of the first 11 holes play by the sea to the lighthouse, before you turn back to face the imposing Ailsa Craig rock and the iconic white hotel. Tom Watson’s heroics last year merely cemented its reputation as Golf World’s No.1 course in Great Britain & Ireland.

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Top 7 Most Influent People under 40

The first time Fortune Magazine published this list was called “40 under 40”, and made reference to the top 40 richest people under 40 years old. Lately, they redid the ranking again, but these times they move the list from the richest to the most influent young people in the business world. So for our blog we picked the Top 7 of this year’s class of youthful movers and shakers. They’re innovating, they’re expanding, and they’re not really thinking about the recession.

1. Marc Andreessen

Co-founder, Netscape, Opsware, Ning, Andreessen Horowitz

Age: 39

Rank change: Up

Industry: Technology

Long before there was a Zuckerberg, Andreessen helped create the building blocks of the web; his Mosaic led to the first commercial browser. Andreessen faded from the scene for a time after Microsoft squashed Netscape, but he’s back now: A-list venture capitalist and director at Facebook, Skype, and Hewlett-Packard, where he served as the public face of the angry board in dismissing CEO Mark Hurd.

TV addiction: Mad Men. Andreessen had a bar installed in his new office and owns a record player that appeared on the show.

2. Mark Zuckerberg

Founder and CEO, Facebook

Age: 26

Rank change: Same

Industry: Technology

Even as Aaron Sorkin’s film, The Social Network, portrays a certain fictional Harvard dropout with a mean streak, the real Mark Zuckerberg has made good on his goals this year: Facebook will pull in more than $1 billion in revenue; he unveiled a suite of new social tools; and despite a privacy backlash, the number of active users has jumped to an almost unfathomable 500 million; Facebook has surpassed Google to become the most trafficked site on the web.

New friend: Last month he made a surprise $100 million donation to help Newark’s schools.

3. Evan Williams and Biz Stone

Co-founders, Twitter

Age: 38 and 36

Rank change: Up

Industry: Technology

With Twitter firmly entrenched in the cultural zeitgeist, its congenial odd-couple founders — Williams is the cerebral one, Stone the jokester — have been redesigning the site, pushing hard for revenue in the form of “sponsored tweet” ads, and beefing up management: Witness last month’s promotion of COO Dick Costolo to CEO. (Williams will step aside to focus on product strategy.) Could Twitter finally be growing up?

Friendly competition: Williams has 1.3 million followers; Stone has 1.6 million. (Says Williams: “He’s more famous, but I’m better at tweeting.”)

4. Raul Vazquez

President, Wal-Mart West

Age: 39

Rank change: Up

Industry: Retail

El Paso native Vazquez moved to San Francisco during the dotcom boom but ended up at an old giant, joining in 2002 and becoming its CEO in 2007. In January he was promoted to run all of Wal-Mart West, one of three U.S. divisions. Though the company doesn’t break out regional sales, total U.S. revenue last year was $258 billion, so it’s safe to say the Stanford engineer has a lot on his shoulders.

Arts appreciation: Vazquez likes the symphony and poetry.

5. Sergey Brin and Larry Page

Co-founders, Google

Age: Both 37

Rank change: Down

Industry: Technology

It’s been a year of compromise for Google’s golden boys: From the delicate deal they struck with China to remain in the market behemoth to a controversial proposal made with Verizon that would let companies pay for faster content delivery, critics are starting to question the “do no evil” thing. At the same time, its core search business is slowing, the competition is gaining, and the company has yet to crack the social-media nut. Brin and Page are still worth about $30 billion collectively, and revenue grew 8.5% last year, but 2010 may go down as the year Google’s cracks started to show.

6. Aditya Mittal

CFO, ArcelorMittal

Age: 34

Rank change: Down

Industry: Industrial

The baby-faced CFO of the world’s largest steelmaker — founded by dad Lakshmi — helped cut the company’s debt 30% after orchestrating the company’s mega-takeover of Arcelor. Now Mittal is focused on driving growth in hot markets like Brazil, India, and China. This year he helped retool his company’s strategy in India, where the steel market is expected to triple by 2020.

Side deals: Mittal is on the board of PPR; earlier this year his wife bought bankrupt luxury-fashion brand Escada. Says Mittal: “I told her to pursue it like no tomorrow

7. Pony Ma Huateng

Founder and CEO, Tencent

Age: 39

Rank change: Up

Industry: Technology

One of China’s richest — and perhaps most reclusive — business moguls, Ma is the founder of Tencent, the country’s biggest Internet company by market capitalization. Ma created the instant-messaging platform QQ in 1999; today it has more than 500 million active users. He has demonstrated a canny knack for figuring out what China’s youth wants — and what they’ll pay for — leveraging Tencent’s massive QQ user base to also sell gaming and push e-commerce.

Growth rate: Revenue in the first six months of this year hit $1.3 billion, up 65% from 2009.

Source: Fortune
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Top 7 Best MBA Universities in 2011

Last week we published a post regarding the best universities in the world in 2010 (Top 7 Best Universities in the World in 2010) and, as I mentioned in that post, we will publish the ranking for the MBA universities. On this matter, we found the study made by the Financial Times to be very good, once they rank the MBA universities, among other things, using the average salary their students make and the time they need to be employed, once they graduate.

1. London Business School

Ranking in 2010: 1

Ranking in 2009: 1

3 year average rank: 1

Country: UK

Salary total (US$): 146 332

Salary percentage increase: 132

Value for money rank: 57

Career progress rank: 11

Employed at 3 month (%): 91

2. University of Pennsylvania – Wharton

Ranking in 2010: 2

Ranking in 2009: 1

3 year average rank: 1

Country: USA

Salary total (US$): 175 153

Salary percentage increase: 123

Value for money rank: 89

Career progress rank: 33

Employed at 3 month (%): 84

3. Harvard Business School

Ranking in 2010: 3

Ranking in 2009: 3

3 year average rank: 3

Country: USA

Salary total (US$): 170 817

Salary percentage increase: 116

Value for money rank: 87

Career progress rank: 90

Employed at 3 month (%):

4. Insead (tie)

Ranking in 2010: 5

Ranking in 2009: 5

3 year average rank: 5

Country: France / Singapore

Salary total (US$): 147 974

Salary percentage increase: 108

Value for money rank: 4

Career progress rank: 18

Employed at 3 month (%): 82

4. Stanford University GSB (tie)

Ranking in 2010: 4

Ranking in 2009: 6

3 year average rank: 5

Country: USA

Salary total (US$): 182 746

Salary percentage increase: 115

Value for money rank: 98

Career progress rank: 9

Employed at 3 month (%): 92

6. Hong Kong UST Business School

Ranking in 2010: 9

Ranking in 2009: 16

3 year average rank: 10

Country: China

Salary total (US$): 133 334

Salary percentage increase: 142

Value for money rank: 16

Career progress rank: 36

Employed at 3 month (%): 69

7. Columbia Business School

Ranking in 2010: 6

Ranking in 2009: 4

3 year average rank: 6

Country: USA

Salary total (US$): 167 366

Salary percentage increase: 117

Value for money rank: 97

Career progress rank: 17

Employed at 3 month (%): 90

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Top 7 Highest Paid F1 Drivers in 2011

Back in the “golden days” of Michael Schumacher, I read somewhere that he was close to be the first F1 driver to become a billionaire. Now that these “golden days” are gone and that he retired and came back, now that other athletes are more “mediatic” and make lots of money (check our Top 7 Highest Paid Athletes in 2010 post), it would be nice to check how the F1 drivers are doing these days, regarding the amount of money they made. Accordingly to this last week’s issue of Portuguese magazine Auto Hoje, quoting the German sports news agency Sid, here you can find the Top 7 Highest Paid F1 Drivers. Surprisingly and despite he is not doing very much after he came back, Michael Schumacher is still in the top list, but he is not the highest paid driver. For this list, we consider how much they make in total, including salary and sponsors.

1. Fernando Alonso

2011 salary: €28 million

Team: Ferrari

Nationality: Spanish

Date of birth: July 29, 1981

2. Michael Schumacher

2011 salary: €18 million

Team: Mercedes GP

Nationality: German

Date of birth: January 3, 1969

3. Sebastian Vettel (tie)

2011 salary: €15 million

Team: Red Bull Racing

Nationality: German

Date of birth: July 3, 1987

3. Lewis Hamilton (tie)

2011 salary: €15 million

Team: McLaren

Nationality: British

Date of birth: January 7, 1985

5. Felipe Massa

2011 salary: €14 million

Team: Ferrari

Nationality: Brazilian

Date of birth: April 25, 1981

6. Jenson Button

2011 salary: €12 million

Team: McLaren

Nationality: British

Date of birth: January 19, 1980

7. Nico Rosberg

2011 salary: €10 million

Team: Mercedes GP

Nationality: German

Date of birth: June 27, 1985

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Top 7 World’s Most Admired Companies in 2011

This is an already famous list from Fortune magazine. For the 50 most admired companies overall, Fortune’s survey asked businesspeople to vote for the companies that they admired most, from any industry. For 2011, the Most Admired Companies are:

1. Apple

Rank in Computers: 1 (previous rank: 1)

Overall score: 8.16

Why it’s admired:

For the fourth straight year, Apple tops Fortune’s Most Admired list. The company’s blistering pace of new product releases has continued to set the bar high for tech companies across the board.

Apple took a stock hit when iconic CEO Steve Jobs announced in January that he’d be taking a second medical leave, two years after receiving a liver transplant during a six-month sabbatical. But Jobs assured the market in the company’s recent earnings report that Apple was still “firing on all cylinders.”

It certainly appears to be. Apple nearly doubled its quarterly profits vs. a year ago. The iPad 2 was introduced in March, marking the second generation of one of Apple’s milestone product successes. And Jobs made a surprise appearance at the launch.

Another huge move by Apple was the announcement this January that the iPhone 4 would be available from Verizon, offering another option to consumers frustrated with dropped calls on AT&T.

2. Google

Rank in Internet Services and Retailing: 1 (previous rank: 1)

Overall score: 8.22

Why it’s admired:

Google, in second place after Apple, maintains its reign as the king of search. The company is also spreading through its deep dive into devices with its free, open-source operating systems.

Google says that it activates devices loaded with its Android operating system at a rate of over 10 million every month – a number that continues to explode. Outside of devices, the company has seen growth in YouTube, display advertising and even paid enterprise applications.

The other big change for the company comes in the executive suite. CEO Eric Schmidt, who has led the company’s rapid ascent since 2001, will leave the position in April, allowing Google co-founder Larry Page to retake the position he once held in the company’s early days. Back when it was all about search.

3. Berkshire Hathaway

Rank in Insurance (Property and Casualty): 1 (previous rank: 1)

Overall score: 6.88

Why it’s admired:

Berkshire Hathaway maintains its third-place spot this year. CEO Warren Buffett (who recently made our Top 7 Richest People in the World in 2011 list), remains an admired champ, both for his judgments about stocks and for having built a huge operating company besides.

One recent stock-market judgment: Berkshire Hathaway increased its stake in Johnson & Johnson in 2010, from about 28 million shares to around 45 million, despite J&J’s neverending product recalls during the year. In buying, Buffett followed his usual practice of picking up stocks when they’re out-of-favor, betting on them to rise when trouble recedes.

Berkshire’s most dramatic investment in 2010 was its $26 billion purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe. The railroad went on to generate more than $1 billion of operating earnings per quarter for Berkshire, making it a large factor in the company’s 2010 increase of 13% in book value.

In Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire investors, he emphasized that American business, despite the economic uncertainties that persist, will continue to thrive. Berkshire, Buffett said, is backing that opinion with cash. “In 2011,” he wrote, “we will set a new record for capital spending – $8 billion – and spend all of the $2 billion increase in the United States.”

4. Southwest Airlines

Rank in Airlines: 3 (previous rank: 4)

Overall score: 6.17

Why it’s admired:

Since it started offering low-cost flights in the 1970s, Southwest Airlines has been a more consistent performer than most airline companies. Recently, airlines in general have been receiving bad press for tacking on fees to compensate for rising fuel prices, but Southwest has remained one of the world’s most admired. Southwest generated strong earnings in its most recent quarter, with profits up 13% from a year earlier. The acquisition of AirTran will give the company more planes and should allow Southwest access to more markets. Southwest is also the third largest airline in the world.

5. Procter & Gamble

Rank in Soaps and Cosmetics: 1 (previous rank: 1)

Overall score: 7.43

Why it’s admired:

Procter & Gamble has incredible reach. It’s the world’s largest consumer-products company, with annual sales around $79 billion.

P&G has a long history of earning the respect of its peers – fifth on the overall list this year, it’s been ranked first in its industry every year it’s been in the survey since 1997.

With commodity prices rising, P&G says it will have to raise prices on some products. But P&G’s products, including Tide, Crest and many other household staples, form a strong foundation to weather volatile prices down the supply chain.

6. Coca Cola

Rank in Beverages: 1 (previous rank: 1)

Overall score: 5.93

Why it’s admired:

When it comes to Coke, consumers still have a sweet tooth. The beverage beast has continued to expand across China, and has earned positive attention for its environmental efforts by conserving water.

CEO Muhtar Kent said in its latest earnings report that Coke “met or exceeded all of our long-term growth targets for both the quarter and the year.”

Coca-Cola also continues to stand as one of the world’s great brands, in a league with corporate giants like Nike and GE.

7. Amazon

Rank in Internet Services and Retailing: 2 (previous rank: 2)

Overall score: 7.95

Why it’s admired:

In December, Amazon announced that the 3G Kindle was its best-selling item ever. The tablet continues to dominate the e-reader market, despite initial fears that Apple’s iPad would be a problem. Now, it seems many people are buying both, to serve different purposes.

In February, CEO Jeff Bezos directly targeted Netflix by offering streaming video to Amazon Prime members. It’s all part an effort to strengthen the allure of this one-stop shop that is already top dog among online retailers.

Meanwhile, Amazon has invested in new technology and continues to see growth. Soon, will begin operating an app store for Android.

Source: Fortune
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