Determining a brand’s market value is heady stuff. It’s one thing to determine what stage of growth a brand is in, and that’s a very instructive exercise when evaluating an entire brand tree, but determining how much it is worth in US dollars, that’s quite a feat.

According to ranking compiled and analyzed by Millward Brown, the top 10 household brands are Apple first followed by Google, and then IBM. Isn’t it interesting that that these top three brands are all technology companies? And of the top 10, 7 are technology companies!

This leaves McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Marlboro as the only non-technology organizations. This list also confirms that the strength of a brand can be nourished and developed through consistent brand messaging, as this is something all 10 of these companies practice. They understand the keys that make a company successful, and they practice them each day. Not infrequently which is the habit of many lesser brands.

This on again off again practice is often found in second and third stage companies that are not being managed with a clear strategic plan. Rather, they are reactionary and make long-term strategic decisions based upon short-term financial challenges.

Unfortunately for them, this practice often prevents them from growing out of their current market difficulties. Meanwhile, their more strategic competition identify their weaknesses and put in place new solutions for customers that can seriously damage their company’s future prospects to compete effectively.

The number one lesson the top 10 brands can teach us is your company should pick a long-term strategy and stick to it, and not let fluff or emotion cloud your judgment or change your direction. That’s not how big brands are built.