Special Report

Famous Brands Americans Don't Know

5. Petrobras
> Brand value: $10.6 billion
> Country: Brazil
> National GDP: $2.5 trillion
> Industry: Oil and Gas

Petrobras says that it is the fifth largest energy company in the world, making it similar in size to Chevron and BP plc. Petrobras was founded in 1953 by the Brazilian government, which still owns 50% of the total shares. It is the largest company in the country. Outside the traditional oil and gas productive industries, Petrobras also operates in the  biofuels and alternative energy sectors. According to the Financial Times, Petrobras has the largest capital spending budget of any corporation in the world at $236.5 billion. Petrobras needs the money. It is the largest deepwater oil producer in the world with huge reserves off the Brazilian coast miles beneath the Atlantic.

4. Hermes
> Brand value: $19.2 billion
> Country: France
> National GDP: $2.7 trillion
> Industry: Fashion

Hermes was founded by Thierry Hermes in the 1830s. The company currently makes and markets a large line of luxury fashion goods, accessories, watches and purses made from materials as exotic as crocodile. Hermes has stores throughout the world and has aggressively moved into emerging markets such as China, where it has stores in 17 cities; India, where it has locations in three cities; and Indonesia, where it has locations in two. Its reputation among luxury brands helped drive extraordinary growth in the first half of 2012 during which revenue rose 21.9% to 1.6 billion euros, according to the company’s financial statements. Watch sales were a significant part of the improvement with a 31% rise in revenue for the period.

Also Read: 10 Brands Losing the Most Value

3. Deutsche Telekom
> Brand value: $26.8 billion
> Country: Germany
> National GDP: $3.6 trillion
> Industry: Telecom

Deutsche Telekom has a larger worldwide base than most other global telecom companies. While AT&T and Verizon do not have huge operations overseas, Deutsche Telekom owns T-Mobile, the No. 4 wireless provider in the U.S. T-Mobile will soon merge with MetroPCS, pending approval. Deutsche Telekom also owns T-Mobile Netherlands, and operations in Hungary, Greece, Austria, and much of Eastern Europe. According to the company, it had 236,000 employees at the end of 2011 and operated in 50 countries. Revenue in 2011 was approximately 58 billion euros. As cellular penetration in nations such as Germany and the U.S. reaches saturation point, large telecom providers such as Deutsche Telekom have to find new avenues to increase sales. Like many of its global peers, Deutsche Telekom has pressed into 4G technology to find new sources of revenue.

2. NTT DoCoMo
> Brand value: $16.0 billion
> Country: Japan
> National GDP: $5.8 trillion
> Industry: Telecom

NTT DoCoMo was spun out of Japan telecommunications company NTT in 1992. The offshoot company was created to hold the mobile assets of the former parent company, which once had a market monopoly similar to the one AT&T had in the U.S. until the 1970s. DoCoMo launched its first digital network in 1993 and has added 60 million customers since. It claims that it has about half of the entire wireless market in Japan. Two companies have emerged as major competitors: KDDI and Softbank. Softbank recently said it would buy a majority interest in Sprint-Nextel, making it the first of the Japanese wireless companies to make a substantial move into the American market.

1. China Mobile  
> Brand value: $47.0 billion
> Country: China
> National GDP: $7.2 trillion
> Industry: Telecom

China Mobile is the leading wireless services provider in the People’s Republic. The company says it has  both the world’s largest wireless network and the world’s largest wireless customer base. That’s because China Mobile has roughly 700 million customers, which is well over twice the number of people who live in the U.S. China Mobile is a relatively new company, but so is the global wireless industry in general. First incorporated in September 1997, China Mobile has plans to shepherd its customer base to 4G ultra-fast broadband systems just as Verizon Wireless and AT&T are doing in the U.S.

Douglas A. McIntyre

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