Special Report

Famous Brands Americans Don't Know

In the U.S.-centric world most Americans live in, all the greatest and most valuable brands were created here. Several studies by brand valuation experts show that to be true. But some of the world’s most valuable brands are not only owned by companies outside the United States, they are brands that many Americans know nothing about and may never have heard of. 24/7 Wall St. has taken a look at some of these brands and found that the U.S. is not the only brand capital.

U.S. brands that dominate the top spots of most brand valuation lists include Apple, Google, Microsoft, Marlboro, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and IBM. These top brands fall into one of two categories. They are either technology or consumer products brands. They are also all global. Apple, Microsoft and IBM have tremendous overseas sales. McDonald’s has restaurants around the world.

The most valuable brands owned by companies outside the U.S. fall into two different categories. The first is financial services and banks. The most widely known and highly valued of these brands have also been around for some time. RBS, the largest bank in Canada, is more than a century old. So is Sberbank in Russia.

The second set of famous overseas brands are cellular phone companies. By their nature they are relatively new, because the wireless revolution is barely 20 years old. China Mobile was incorporated in 1997. Japan’s NTT DoCoMo was formed in 1992.

To pick the most valuable brands that Americans have not heard of, 24/7 Wall St. relied on the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2012. We ranked the brands that made the list based on gross domestic product of country of origin, and then picked the most valuable brands from the eleven largest countries based on that GDP measurement. In order to exclude well-known brands in America, those with very large market share in the U.S were excluded. That meant Toyota, BMW and Louis Vuitton did not make the cut.

These are the most famous brands Americans don’t know.

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