Top 10 global brands



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TOP 10 GLOBAL BRANDS

COCA-COLA


HISTORY

Confederate Colonel John Pemberton who was wounded in the American Civil War, became addicted to morphine, and began a quest to find a substitute for the dangerous opiate. The prototype Coca-Cola recipe was formulated at Pemberton's Eagle Drug and Chemical House, a drugstore in Columbus, Georgia, originally as a coca wine.] He may have been inspired by the formidable success of Vin Mariani, a European coca wine.

In 1885, Pemberton registered his French Wine Coca nerve tonic.In 1886, when Atlanta and Fulton County passed prohibition legislation, Pemberton responded by developing Coca-Cola, essentially a nonalcoholic version of French Wine Coca. The first sales were at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass at soda fountains, which were popular in the United States at the time due to the belief that carbonated water was good for the health. Pemberton claimed Coca-Cola cured many diseases, including morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache, and impotence. Pemberton ran the first advertisement for the beverage on May 29 of the same year in the Atlanta Journal.

By 1888, three versions of Coca-Cola – sold by three separate businesses – were on the market. A co-partnership had been formed on January 14, 1888 between Pemberton and four Atlanta businessmen: J.C. Mayfield, A.O. Murphey; C.O. Mullahy and E.H. Bloodworth. Not codified by any signed document, a verbal statement given by Asa Candler years later asserted under testimony that he had acquired a stake in Pemberton's company as early as 1887. John Pemberton declared that the name "Coca-Cola" belonged to his son, Charley, but the other two manufacturers could continue to use the formula.

Charley Pemberton's record of control over the "Coca-Cola" name was the underlying factor that allowed for him to participate as a major shareholder in the March 1888 Coca-Cola Company incorporation filing made in his father's place. Charley's exclusive control over the "Coca Cola" name became a continual thorn in Asa Candler's side. Candler's oldest son, Charles Howard Candler, authored a book in 1950 published by Emory University. In this definitive biography about his father, Candler specifically states: "..., on April 14, 1888, the young druggist [Asa Griggs Candler] purchased a one-third interest in the formula of an almost completely unknown proprietary elixir known as Coca-Cola."

The deal was actually between John Pemberton's son Charley and Walker, Candler & Co. – with John Pemberton acting as cosigner for his son. For $50 down and $500 in 30 days, Walker, Candler & Co. obtained all of the one-third interest in the Coca-Cola Company that Charley held, all while Charley still held on to the name. After the April 14 deal, on April 17, 1888, one-half of the Walker/Dozier interest shares were acquired by Candler for an additional $750.

In 1892, Candler set out to incorporate a second company; "The Coca-Cola Company" (the current corporation). When Candler had the earliest records of the "Coca-Cola Company" burned in 1910, the action was claimed to have been made during a move to new corporation offices around this time.

After Candler had gained a better foothold on Coca-Cola in April 1888, he nevertheless was forced to sell the beverage he produced with the recipe he had under the names "Yum Yum" and "Koke". This was while Charley Pemberton was selling the elixir, although a cruder mixture, under the name "Coca-Cola", all with his father's blessing. After both names failed to catch on for Candler, by the summer of 1888, the Atlanta pharmacist was quite anxious to establish a firmer legal claim to Coca-Cola, and hoped he could force his two competitors, Walker and Dozier, completely out of the business, as well.

On August 16, 1888, Dr. John Stith Pemberton suddenly died, Asa G. Candler then sought to move swiftly forward to attain his vision of taking full control of the whole Coca-Cola operation.

Charley Pemberton, an alcoholic, was the one obstacle who unnerved Asa Candler more than anyone else. Candler is said to have quickly maneuvered to purchase the exclusive rights to the name "Coca-Cola" from Pemberton's son Charley right after Dr. Pemberton's death. One of several stories was that Candler bought the title to the name from Charley's mother for $300; approaching her at Dr. Pemberton's funeral. Eventually, Charley Pemberton was found on June 23, 1894, unconscious, with a stick of opium by his side. Ten days later, Charley died at Atlanta's Grady Hospital at the age of 40.

In Charles Howard Candler's 1950 book about his father, he stated: "On August 30th [1888], he [Asa Candler] became sole proprietor of Coca-Cola, a fact which was stated on letterheads, invoice blanks and advertising copy."

With this action on August 30, 1888, Candler's sole control became technically all true. Candler had negotiated with Margaret Dozier and her brother Woolfolk Walker a full payment amounting to $1,000, which all agreed Candler could pay off with a series of notes over a specified time span. By May 1, 1889, Candler was now claiming full ownership of the Coca-Cola beverage, with a total investment outlay by Candler for the drink enterprise over the years amounting to $2,300.

In 1914, Margaret Dozier, as co-owner of the original Coca-Cola Company in 1888, came forward to claim that her signature on the 1888 Coca-Cola Company bill of sale had been forged. Subsequent analysis of certain similar transfer documents had also indicated John Pemberton's signature was most likely a forgery, as well, which some accounts claim was precipitated by his son Charley.

On September 12, 1919, Coca-Cola Co. was purchased by a group of investors for $25 million and reincorporated. The company publicly offered 500,000 shares of the company for $40 a share.

In 1986, The Coca-Cola Company merged with two of their bottling operators (owned by JTL Corporation and BCI Holding Corporation) to form Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE).

In December 1991, Coca-Cola Enterprises merged with the Johnston Coca-Cola Bottling Group, Inc.



STRENGTH

Brand Equity – Interbrand in 2011 awarded Coca cola with the highest brand equity award. Coca cola with its vast global presence and unique brand identity is definitely one of the costliest brands with the highest brand equity.

Company valuation – One of the most valuable companies in the world, Coca cola is valued around 79.2 billion dollars. This valuation includes the brand value, the numerous factories and assets spread out across the world and the complete operations cost and profit of Coca cola.

Vast global presence – Coca cola is present in 200 countries across the world. Chances are, any country that you go to, you will find coca cola present in that market. This vast global presence of coca cola has also contributed to the building of the mammoth brand name.

Largest market share – There are only 2 Big competitors in the beverage segment – Pepsi and Coca cola. Out of these 2, coca cola is the clear winner and hence has the largest market share. Amongst all beverages, Coke, Thums up, Sprite, Diet coke, Fanta, Limca and Maaza are the growth drivers for Coca Cola.

Fantastic marketing strategies – Coca cola unlike Pepsi always tries to win peoples heart. Where Pepsi’s target is continuously changing, and is targeted towards youngsters, Coca cola targets people of all ages. The targeting is also done by celebrities who are well liked – for example – Amitabh Bacchan, Sachin tendulkar, Aishwarya Rai, Aamir Khan etc

Customer Loyalty – With such strong products, it is natural that Coca cola has a lot of customer loyalty. The products mentioned above like Coca cola and Fanta have a huge fan following. People will prefer these soft drinks over others. Because of the good taste of Coca cola, finding substitutes becomes difficult for the customer.

Distribution network – Coca cola has the largest distribution network because of the demand in the market for its products. On the other hand, due to this successful distribution network, Coca cola has been able to command such a high market presence.

WEAKNESSES

Competition with Pepsi – Pepsi is a thorn in the flesh for Coca cola. Coca cola would have been the clear market leader had it not been for Pepsi. The competition in these two brands is immense and we don’t think Pepsi will give up so easily.
Product Diversification is low – Where Pepsi has made a smart move and diversified into the snacks segment with products like Lays and Kurkure, Coca cola is missing from that segment. The segment is also a good revenue driver for Pepsi and had Coca cola been present in this segment, these products would have been an additional revenue driver for the company.
Absence in health beverages – If you watch the news, you would know that obesity is a major problem affecting people nowadays. The business environment is changing and people are taking measures to ensure that they are not obese. Carbonated beverages are one of the major reasons for fat intake and Coca cola is the largest manufacturer of Carbonated beverages. The inference is that the consumption of beverages in developed countries might go down as people will prefer a healthy alternative.
Water management – Coca cola has faced flak in the past due to its water management issues. Several groups have raised lawsuits in the name of Coca cola because of their vast consumption of water even in water scarce regions. At the same time, people have also blamed Coca cola for mixing pesticides in the water to clear contaminants. Thus water management needs to be better for Coca cola.

STRATEGIES BEING EMPLOYED

It started with a unique, market-tested formula.


After serving as a Confederate colonel in the Civil War, John Pemberton wanted to develop a version of the coca wines (basically cola with alcohol and cocaine) that were in vogue at the time. In 1886, Atlanta passed prohibition laws that forced beverage manufacturers to produce non-alcoholic versions of their drinks.

Pemberton sent his nephew Lewis Newman with samples of his formulas to a local pharmacy where people congregated to drink these early versions of sodas. Newman relayed feedback to his uncle about the various concoctions, and by the end of the year Pemberton had a recipe that was unique and tailored to customers' tastes. The original recipe is still locked in a vault in Atlanta.

Cocaine was removed from Coke in 1903. Other minor adjustments have been made in the past century or so, but beyond the "New Coke" disaster of 1985, the recipe has largely remained unchanged. This decision helped the company scale, Butler writes, since it did not spend time trying to tailor the taste to regional markets throughout the world.

Its logo uses a timeless font.


Pemberton's bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, decided that Coca-Cola's logo should be written in the Spencerian script accountants used because it would differentiate it from its competitors. The company standardized the logo in 1923 and, like the recipe, decided that while packaging could adjust to the times, the core logo was to be untouched.

It's resulted in a logo that has had more than 100 years to become imprinted in the minds of people around the world.


It was distributed in a proprietary bottle.


After the Georgia businessman Asa Griggs Candler became the majority shareholder of Coca-Cola in 1888, he set his sights on making Coke the nation's most popular cola through marketing and partnerships with regional bottlers.

By 1915, Candler was losing market share to hundreds of competitors. He launched a national contest for a new bottle design that would signal to consumers that Coke was a premium product that couldn't be confused with some other brown cola in an identical clear glass bottle.

The new bottle had to be able to be mass produced using existing equipment yet also be distinct.

The Root Glass Company in Indiana decided to enter the contest and base its design off the product's name. While combing through the dictionary for the word "coca" and words like it, Butler writes, mold shop supervisor Earl R. Dean came across an illustration for the cocoa plant that caught his attention. Coca-Cola had nothing to do with cocoa, but the cocoa pod had a strange but appealing shape. He and his team got to work and were declared the contest winners the next year.

Coca-Cola commissioned the bottle design as a piece of defensive marketing, but began promoting the shape as much as the logo and product. Even after plastic replaced glass as the standard means of drinking Coke in countries like the US, the company continued to promote the image of the Coke bottle as an icon.

It held retailers responsible for maintaining its high standard.


Ernest Woodruff's Trust Company of Georgia bought Coca-Cola from Candler in 1919. Woodruff was focused on maintaining a standard of excellence as the company scaled.

The Coke team decided that its drink should be served at 36 degrees Fahrenheit, and would send salesmen to new retailers to tell them the product should never be served above 40 degrees.

The tactic may seem a bit silly today, but the 36-degree standard was just another example of establishing Coca-Cola as a premium product that was worthy of more attention than any of its competitors.

It kept its consumer price fixed for 70 years.


It's common today for tech startups to begin by offering a service for free and then charging a higher price to consumers and/or advertisers once they've become hooked. Before utilizing networking effects became a standard practice, Coca-Cola used a similar approach to scale across the US and then throughout the world.

From 1886 to 1959, a bottle of Coke cost just five cents.


It guided word-of-mouth advertising and developed a voice.


It became apparent after Candler took over early in the company's life that Coke was as much a drink as it was a consumable brand, an idea consumers could feel good about identifying with.

Candler started a mass coupon initiative that resulted in 10% of all products from 1887 to 1920 to be given away in order to build brand awareness. He also provided retailers with Coca-Cola swag like posters and festoons for decorations and calendars and clocks for customers. According to Butler, Coke was a pioneer in affixing a brand to items unrelated to the product.

And finally, all national, and then global, advertising contained variations of "Drink Coca-Cola/Delicious and refreshing" and fit into a standardized design style.

It adopted a franchise model.


"Amid the soda wars that broke out in the 1880s, Candler's most significant business decision had nothing to do with branding," Butler writes.

In 1899, two Tennessee lawyers, Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead, approached Candler and asked if he would let them bottle Coke. The drink was sold as a syrup that retailers would mix with soda water, but it wasn't typical to drink cola on the go or bring it into the home. Candler decided to hand over the bottling rights for just a dollar, which he never collected, because he was content with maintaining the rights to the syrup.

This marked the beginning of what the company internally calls The Coca-Cola System, a franchise partnership with bottlers that allowed the brand to truly take off. Today, there are more than 250 independent bottlers around the world.

"The Coca-Cola Company isn't one giant company; it's a system of small companies," Butler writes. "And this pattern helps it scale new products, new communications, new equipment, etc. Designing for this pattern is critical; when it wants to scale fast, it can."



PRIMARY REASON FOR BEING THE GLOBAL BRAND

The 'One Brand' Strategy:



Extends the global equity and iconic appeal of original Coca-Colaacross the Trademark, uniting the Coca-Cola family under the world’s number one beverage brand.

Comes to life in a global campaign – "Taste the Feeling" – that uses universal storytelling and everyday moments to connect with consumers around the world.

Features the product at the heart of the creative, celebrating the experience and simple pleasure of drinking a Coca-Cola, any Coca-Cola.

Underscores the Company’s commitment to choice, allowing consumers to choose whichever Coca-Cola suits their taste, lifestyle, and diet.

IBM
HISTORY


IBM History - The Beginning


On June 16, 1911, three successful 19th century companies decided to merge, marking the beginnings of IBM history.

The Tabulating Machine Company, the International Time Recording Company, and the Computing Scale Company of America joined together to incorporate and form one company, the Computing Tabulating Recording Company. In 1914, Thomas J. Watson Senior joined CTR as CEO and held that title for the next twenty years, turning the company into the multi-national entity.



In 1924, Watson changed the company’s name to International Business Machines Corporation or IBM. From the beginning, IBM defined itself not by selling products, which ranged from commercial scales to punch card tabulators, but by its research and development.

IBM History - Business Computers


IBM began designing and manufacturing calculators in the 1930s, using the technology of their own punch card processing equipment. In 1944, IBM together with Harvard University financed the invention of the Mark 1 computer, the first machine to compute long calculations automatically. By 1953, IBM was ready to completely produce their own computers, which began with the IBM 701 EDPM, their first commercially successful general-purpose computer. And the 701 was just the beginning.

IBM History - Personal Computers


In July 1980, Microsoft's Bill Gates agreed to create an operating system for IBM's new computerfor the home consumer, which IBM released on August 12 1981. The first IBM PC ran on a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 microprocessor. IBM had now stepped into the home consumer market, sparking the computer revolution.

Outstanding IBM Electrical Engineers


David Bradley joined IBM immediately upon graduation. In September 1980, David Bradley became one of the "original 12" engineers working on the IBM Personal Computer and was responsible for the ROM BIOS code.
STRENGTH

First mover in cloud computing solutions for enterprises. IBM has moved to cloud computing in 2007 with its “Blue Cloud” program, which was designed to offer hardware and software solutions for enterprises that were willing to have their own private cloud. Since then the company has become the first reference point for enterprise cloud solutions in the cloud market. Unlike many other companies in the cloud market, the company has been offering the broadest range of software and services in one place.

Brand reputation. IBM has a significant market reach all over the world in all of the markets it operates. Company has also been awarded as #1 company for leaders; #1 green company worldwide; #2 most respected company; #5 most admired company; and has received many more awards This has resulted in a very positive and strong brand reputation. According to Interbrand, IBM brand was value at $75.5 billion in 2012 and was the 3rd most valuable brand in the world. Brand reputation significantly influences consumers’ decision to buy the product and IBM clearly benefits from that.

Diversified business. IBM segments its business into 4 divisions: Hardware, Software, Services and Financing. In 2000, the company was earning 35% of its income from hardware sales, where profit margins are low and future market growth is slow or negative. IBM has diversified from hardware to software business, which is expected to generate 50% of company’s income by 2015. This shift will result in lower impact of the negative trends in hardware market and higher profitability from sales of software and services. The company has also diversified geographically and now earns more than 60% of its income from outside US. IBM heavily invests into China and the rest of Asia to increase the geographic diversity of its income.

Strong competency in acquisitions. Over the last 13 years, from 2000 to 2012, IBM has acquired more than 140 companies in strategic areas including analytics, cloud, security and commerce. This has led to substantial growth in software and consulting offerings from IBM and established the company as a leading software and consulting provider for enterprises. IBM also expects to invest $20 billion over the next two years on acquisitions to strengthen its product portfolio even further. Company’s competence in successful acquisitions is the key advantage other companies, like HP, currently lack.

Integration of products and services. IBM offers hardware (servers, storages), software (enterprise content, service and information management) and services (cloud, software, data centers) all related to each other, which enable the company to provide one stop solution for enterprises and integrated product for the customers.
WEAKNESSES
Expensive service and software solutions. IBM offers expensive integrated custom solutions for enterprises that want to build reliable IT infrastructure in their companies. This often involves buying hardware, software and services from IBM at the same time, which is very costly expenditure for any size of enterprise. Such an infrastructure investment is often postponed in times of uncertainty or slowing economy growth. This weakness was evident over the last few years, when IBM struggled to cross sell its products and saw decreasing revenues in the same period.
Focus mainly on customized products. IBM focuses on providing customized solutions for large and medium enterprises. This is a very profitable business model but captures only a small share of the market. The rest of the market is often satisfied with off-the-shelf software products and services. The lack of these products makes IBM less approachable by the rest of the market, where competitors like Oracle and SalesForce thrive

STRATEGIES BEING EMPLOYED
We are making markets transforming industries and professions with data
We are remaking enterprise IT for the era of cloud
We are enabling systems of engagement for enterprises. And we are leading by example.


PRIMARY REASON FOR BEING THE GLOBAL BRAND
BM was recognized as one of the "Top 20 Best Workplaces for Commuters" by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2005. The award was to recognize Fortune 500 companies which provided employees with excellent commuter benefits to help reduce traffic and air pollution.

The birthplace of IBM, Endicottsuffered pollution for decades, however. IBM used liquid cleaning agents in circuit board assembly operation for more than two decades, and six spills and leaks were recorded, including one leak in 1979 of 4,100 gallons from an underground tank. These left behind volatile organic compounds in the town's soil and aquifer. Traces of volatile organic compounds have been identified in Endicott’s drinking water, but the levels are within regulatory limits. Also, from 1980, IBM has pumped out 78,000 gallons of chemicals, including trichloroethanefreonbenzene and perchloroethene to the air and allegedly caused several cancer cases among the townspeople. IBM Endicott has been identified by the Department of Environmental Conservation as the major source of pollution, though traces of contaminants from a local dry cleaner and other polluters were also found. Remediation and testing are ongoing, however according to city officials, tests show that the water is safe to drink.

Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co., Ltd. (TOK) and IBM are collaborating to establish new, low-cost methods for bringing the next generation of solar energy products, called CIGS (Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide) solar cell modules, to market. Use of thin film technology, such as CIGS, has great promise in reducing the overall cost of solar cells and further enabling their widespread adoption.

IBM is exploring four main areas of photovoltaic research: using current technologies to develop cheaper and more efficient silicon solar cells, developing new solution-processed thin film photovoltaic devices, concentrator photovoltaics, and future generation photovoltaic architectures based upon nanostructures such as semiconductor quantum dots and nanowires.


MICROSOFT
HISTORY
Gates had an interest in computer programming from a young age, and pursued his passion throughout college. In 1975, together with his childhood friend Paul Allen, Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer – the MITS Altair 8800.
Gates and Allen approached MITS with their creation, and the company agreed to distribute it as 'Altair BASIC'. Paul Allen was hired into MITS, and Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with him in Albuquerque in November 1975. They officially established Microsoft' on 4 April 1975, with Gates as the CEO. Gates never returned to Harvard.

Microsoft became independent of MITS in late 1976, but continued to develop programming language software for various systems. The company moved from Albuquerque to Bellevue, Washington, on 1 January 1979.


During Microsoft's early years, all employees had broad responsibility for the company's business. Gates oversaw the business details, but continued to write code as well. In the first five years, he personally reviewed every line of code the company shipped, and often rewrote parts of it as he saw fit.
IBM approached Microsoft in July 1980 to provide the operating system for its upcoming personal computer. For this deal, Microsoft bought a system called 86-DOS from a company called Seattle Computer Products and, after adapting it for the PC, delivered it to IBM as 'PC DOS' in exchange for a one-time fee of $50,000.
However, Gates did not offer to transfer the copyright on the operating system, because he believed that other hardware companies would clone IBM's system. He was right, and the sales of PC DOS made Microsoft a major player in the industry. Despite IBM's name on the operating system, Gates was quickly identified as 'the man behind the machine'.

Gates oversaw Microsoft's company restructuring in June 1981, which re-incorporated the company in Washington state and made Gates president of Microsoft and the chairman of the board.


By this time he had gained a reputation for being distant to others. He met regularly with Microsoft's senior managers and program managers, and was reportedly verbally pugnacious, berating managers for perceived holes in their business strategies that placed the company's long-term interests at risk.

Microsoft launched the first version of its Windows operating system on 20 November 1985, and in August, the company struck a deal with IBM to develop a separate operating system called OS/2. Microsoft moved its headquarters to Redmond in February 1986, and on March 13 the company went public.


Creative differences caused the partnership between Microsoft and IBM to deteriorate in 1991. By then, Microsoft had introduced its Office suite, which bundled applications such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, as well as Windows 3.0. Both Office and Windows became dominant in their respective areas.
Following Gates's internal 'Internet Tidal Wave' in May 1995, Microsoft began to redefine its offerings and expand its product line into computer networking and the World Wide Web. The company released Windows 95 in August 1995, featuring pre-emptive multitasking and a completely new user interface with a novel start button.
Gates handed over the CEO position in 2000, to Steve Ballmer, an old college friend and employee of the company since 1980. Allen resigned after a long-term illness, while Gates became 'chief software architect' and chairman of the board.

Microsoft went on to release Windows XP in 2001, followed by Windows Vista in 2007, Windows 7 in 2009 and Windows 8 in 2011. It entered the game console market dominated by Sony and Nintendo, launching the first Xbox in 2001, and has begun to take on Apple in the smartphone market with the launch of Windows Phone in 2011, and the purchase of Nokia in 2013.


Meanwhile, Gates announced in June 2006 that he would begin transitioning out of his day-to-day role to dedicate more time to philanthropy. He divided his responsibilities between two successors, placing Ray Ozzie in charge of day-to-day management and Craig Mundie in charge of long-term product strategy.
He finally retired as chief software architect in June 2008, but retained his role as chairman, in addition to being an advisor for the company on key projects.

Since then, Gates has dedicated the majority of his time to philanthropy, through the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. As of 16 May 2013, Bill Gates had donated $28 billion to the foundation


Gates was the world's highest-earning billionaire in 2013, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a fortune of $78.5 billion. He still owns about 4.5 percent of Microsoft and is its largest individual shareholder. He and his wife plan to eventually donate 95 per cent of their wealth to charity.
STRENGTHS
IBM's core strengths are its five "strategic imperatives" -- its cloud, data analytics, mobile, social, and security businesses. Revenue from those businesses climbed 16% annually last year and accounted for 27% of IBM's top-line.
Last quarter, strategic imperatives revenue rose 30% year-over-year. IBM expects annual revenue from those businesses to hit $40 billion by 2018, which would account for nearly half of its projected annual revenue. To keep that growth on track, IBM will invest $4 billion on those businesses throughout this year.
Within the cloud unit, demand for hybrid cloud installations will likely grow. Hybrid cloud installations combine local and cloud-based services for larger businesses which aren't ready to move all their data to the cloud yet. Research firm Gartner (NYSE:IT) estimates that half of all U.S. companies will use hybrid cloud installations by 2017.

WEAKNESSES
IBM's strategic initiatives are growing at a healthy rate, but its core businesses aren't. Last quarter, revenue at all five of IBM's main business units -- Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems Hardware, and Global Financing -- declined annually, contributing to its companywide 12% top-line decline.
IBM's revenue growth has stalled due to weak client spending, sluggish demand in the software sector, a strong dollar eating up its overseas revenues, and divestments of lower margin businesses. Divesting lower margin businesses like low-end servers and its foundry business improved earnings per share, but it also caused revenue growth to dry up. CEO Ginni Rometty referred to those revenues as "empty calories," but without them, IBM's top-line growth will remain weak.
IBM's dependence on large businesses is also a double-edged sword. Large businesses are heavily dependent on IBM's mainframes, services, and software, but they are all fairly expensive compared to solutions for smaller businesses. This means that fluctuations in client spending, affected by various economic factors, could weigh down IBM's top-line growth.

STRATEGIES BEING EMPLOYED
Accessibility, as part of overall usability, is a fundamental consideration for Microsoft during product design, development, evaluation, and release. Microsoft endeavors to integrate accessibility into planning, design, research, development, testing, and documentation.

Microsoft addresses accessibility by:



  • Continuing our longstanding commitment and leadership in developing innovative accessibility solutions.

  • Making the computer easier to see, hear, and use by building accessibility into Microsoft products and services.

  • Promoting innovation of accessibility in the development community and working with industry organizations to encourage innovation; and,

  • Building collaborative relationships with a wide range of organizations to raise awareness of the importance of accessibility in meeting the technology needs of people with disabilities.



PRIMARY REASON FOR BEING THE GLOBAL BRAND
In 2012, Fortune ranked IBM the second largest U.S. firm in terms of number of employees, the fourth largest in terms of market capitalization, the ninth most profitable, and the nineteenth largest firm in terms of revenue. Globally, the company was ranked the №31 largest firm in terms of revenue by Forbes for 2011. Other rankings for 2011/2012 include the following:

  • 1 company for leaders (Fortune)

  • 2 green company in the U.S. (Newsweek)

  • 2 best global brand (Interbrand)

  • 2 most respected company (Barron's)

  • 5 most admired company (Fortune)

  • 18 most innovative company (Fast Company)

For 2012, IBM's brand was valued by Interbrand at $75.5 billion.

For 2012, Vault ranked IBM Global Technology Services №1 in tech consulting for cyber security, operations and implementation, and public sector; and 2 in outsourcing.

For 2015, Forbes ranked IBM №5 as the world's most valuable brands.

GENERAL ELECTRIC


HISTORY
General Electric Corporation is one of the largest corporations in the world. Today its business activities span a wide range of areas—everything from aircraft engine manufacturing, appliances, healthcare equipment, and even the NBC television network. As its name implies, however, GE can trace its roots to the early power industry. It was formed in 1892, the result of a merger of the competing companies Edison General Electric Company and the Thomson-Houston Company. The merger was not fully supported by Thomas Edisonhimself, who withdrew from running the business and returned to the laboratory. Even though Edison was not at the helm, the people at GE adopted one of Edison’s greatest ideas. Following Edison’s example, GE established its first permanent research laboratory in Schenectady, NY, in 1900. This lab has produced a startling number of innovations over the years.
Not surprisingly, GE originally focused on power-industry related items, such as electric lamps, generators, alternators, motors, and other. But even in its early years it began researching other areas, such as radio. GE, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), and the Westinghouse Company were also involved in the creation of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1919, which became an important player in the field of radio. Years later, these companies would be forced to sell their interests in RCA and let it become an independent company. Then, in 1985, GE again purchased RCA.

In the 1940s GE became a major manufacturer of electric trains. Many inventors had experimented with these from the 19th century on, and there were electric trolley systems in most major cities around the world in the early 1900s. A major shift came after about 1940, when diesel-electric locomotives (which carry a diesel generator to run an electric motor) replaced steam locomotives. GE manufactured many of these large locomotives.

The company was also a manufacturer of vacuum tubes for radios, and of x-ray tubes and complete x-ray machines beginning around 1912. In 1919, a GE researcher invented an important type of tube called the Magnetron, which has been in use for many years in microwave systems.

Beginning in the early 1900s and lasting to the present, GE has manufactured home appliances, including stoves, the “Hotpoint” iron, washing machines, air conditioners, radios, and televisions.

Early in its history, the company began to be involved in technologies that were not strictly electrical. From the 1920s on, for example, GE made superchargers for cars and airplanes, and in 1940 it manufactured an experimental jet engine. The company is today one of the largest manufacturers of military and commercial jet aircraft engines.

Today the company is one of the largest in the world, and owns numerous research and manufacturing firms around the world as well as two television networks and other businesses. The impact that GE has had on engineering is suggested by the fact that GE employees have been granted an astounding 67,000 patents over the years.



STRENGTHS

Industry Recognition

Although it is most prominently known for its products in the consumer & industrial segment with products such as home appliances, refrigerators, freezers, gas ranges, and microwave ovens, General Electric is one of the worlds’ most respected companies in at least a dozen other market segments.

WEAKNESSES

Low Debt Ratings


In January 2009, Moody’s Investment Services placed the long-term ratings of GE and GE Capital on review for possible downgrade. The review of company’s rating for downgrade was primarily due to uncertainty regarding GE Capital’s asset quality and earnings performance in future periods. Further, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the company’s ratings outlook from stable to negative. Lower credit ratings represent higher borrowing costs and reduced access to capital markets for GE. Under debt instrument guarantees and covenants, GE would have to post additional collateral if the ratings were cut below AA-/Aa3 or A-1 and P-1, or four levels, the company said in its annual filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

STRATEGIES BEING EMPLOYED
The General Electric Company had been one of the industrial giants in the United States and also has maintained its dominance over the rest of the world. But during the recent financial crisis, the company was deeply affected and it was in very great trouble. Indeed the financial crisis was a real eye opener for the company and its management, since they had to thoroughly reorganize their strategies, to stabilize the worldwide operations and also tighten their finances. For this the General Electric Company, had to sell most of its assets in the entertainment arena which it did so, that gave much respite to its financial troubles.

The company management also started to concentrate more on the industrial markets worldwide and due to such steps; the company was able to make itself much stronger in these markets. The management of the company has to be given much appreciation for the intelligent strategies that they had put forth, to pull out the company from impending trouble. The think tank of the company has also been focusing its efforts to push forward into the energy sector, which could give a huge opportunity for it to multiply the profits from investing in this sector. As a result of this change in the management strategy, the company has started to invest in the lucrative crude oil business. With the prices of the crude oil at record highs and the demand for the crude oil growing steadily, it is surely a best strategy taken up by the General Electric Company, to make profits under the current situations.

Thus the whole mood in the company management seems to be very robust, even after getting badly shattered by the economic recession, which had hit most parts of the world. Though it may take some more time for the financial worries to settle down, it can be really said that the General Electric Company is in the right path and will surely in the future, get back its lost shine. The staff and the workers of the company are also in a very happy mood because of the various projects that are in the offing. The people who had worried much about their job security, are gearing up for the future years of employment with the company. Thus there are many more things in store which are to be revealed by the management of the company, regarding the new projects that the company is likely to commit.

Hence when one industrial giant of the United States of America is set to rise back after the economic crisis, it is to be really seen whether many other giants of the American industry will follow suit and rise up. Thus it can be said that the financial crisis has made the major companies of the world, to look back and reorganize their faulty strategies, which they were following till now. Thus in the future they have to march ahead with the right strategies, so as to take the world towards the economic prosperity.


PRIMARY REASON FOR BEING THE GLOBAL BRAND
General Electric continues to implement a strategic plan to acquire high margin assets in financial services sectors. Its goal is to develop new customer relationships and deliver more profitable growth for its shareholders. In 2008, GE Capital acquired assets of CitiCapital, a commercial leasing and commercial equipment finance business. Another acquisition reflecting the goal of serving a broader base of customers is the purchase of Kelman of Lisburn, an Ireland company engaged in providing advanced monitoring and diagnostics technologies. Other recent acquisitions include MicroCal, Agility Healthcare Solutions, Vital Signs, and Interbanca.

NOKIA
HISTORY




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