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Apple knocks IBM off top of Davis brands list

Apple unseated IBM as the top brand of 2011, according to a new study by Davis Brand Capital. The popular gadget maker came in seventh place in last year's tally.

Apple's Cupertino headquarters.
Apple's Cupertino headquarters. James Martin/CNET

Apple emerged as the top brand of 2011, according to an annual list put together by marketing strategy firm Davis Brand Capital.

The iPhone, iPad, and Mac maker topped the Davis list for the first time this year, ousting IBM, which had come in first in 2009 and 2010. Following those two are a handful of other technology companies including Microsoft, Google, and Hewlett-Packard.

"(Apple's) rise in this year's rankings was driven largely by its competitive performance and added brand value," Davis said in a press release.

So how does the company come up with these rankings?

"The annual 2011 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking evaluates companies' abilities to manage and balance the five key intangible categories that comprise brand capital: brand value; competitive performance; innovation strength; company culture; and social impact," the group said.

All told, technology companies made up about a third of Davis' list, and the majority of its Top 10. Below is the full rundown of companies and their stock symbols:

2011 Davis Brand Capital 25

1. Apple (AAPL)
2. IBM (IBM)
3. Microsoft (MSFT)
4. Google (GOOG)
5. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
6. General Electric (GE)
7. Procter & Gamble (PG)
8. Intel (INTC)
9. Coca-Cola (KO)
10. Cisco Systems (CSCO)
11. BMW (BMW-DE)
12. PepsiCo (PEP)
13. Walt Disney Company (DIS)
14. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
15. Daimler (DAI-DE)
16. Citigroup (C)
17. Exxon Mobil (XOM)
18. Goldman Sachs (GS)
19. Nestle (NESM-DE)
20.Toyota Motor Corporation (TM)
21. Volkswagen (VOW-DE)
22. AT&T (T)
23. Samsung Electronics (005930-KSE)
24. Wal-Mart (WMT)
25. Wells Fargo (WFC)

According to Davis, one of the biggest movers on the list was Google, which hopped from No. 11 on the list in 2009 to fourth place this year. Meanwhile, Samsung and Wal-Mart both dropped, with Samsung going from no. 8 in 2010 to No. 23 this year, and Wal-Mart sliding to 24 in this year's list, compared to fifth place last year.

For comparison, take a look at the annualBrand Finance Global 100 survey published last September. It dubbed Google the top brand at the time, with Apple coming in second place, followed by Microsoft and IBM.