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Study: Coca-Cola, Microsoft hottest global brands

IBM, GE and Nokia make it into the top 5 and Google is climbing in an annual ranking by BusinessWeek and Interbrand.

Coca-Cola and Microsoft are the two top global brands, according to an annual ranking by BusinessWeek and branding company Interbrand. Coca-Cola has kept the No. 1 spot and Microsoft has stayed No. 2 for the last seven years.

IBM, GE and Nokia made it into the top 5. Google is climbing and has reached the 20th position; the search giant has raised its brand value 44 percent compared with last year and 45 percent since 2005, breaking into the top 20 in just two years.

The ranking, called Best Global Brands 2007, compiles a list of 100 companies worldwide, a fair amount of them from the U.S.

But how's the value of the brand calculated? The ranking is based on the assumption of how much money the brand will generate in the future. Key issues are branding and marketing strategies as well as financial forecasting.

The big losers this year are Ford, which dropped 19 percent compared with 2006; Gap with 15 percent; and Kodak with 12 percent.

These are the top 10 companies from the list and their brand value in 2007:

1. Coca-Cola, $65 million
2. Microsoft, $59 million
3. IBM, $57 million
4. General Electric, $52 million
5. Nokia, $34 million
6. Toyota, $32 million
7. Intel, $31 million
8. McDonald's, $29 million
9. Disney, $29 million
10. Mercedes-Benz, $24 million