Stepping back to look at the top brands who run data centers, Interbrand has a report on the top brands.
Out of the top 25 brands, here are the companies who have a big data center presence.
Note the big movers in brand recognition, Google 25% and Apple 12%.
In this tough market, Big Blue’s revenue is at an all-time high. IBM received the most U.S. patents (more than 4,000) for the 16th year in a row, investing heavily in innovation as it continues its progression from a hardware provider to a software and services solutions brand. It is the market leader, with expanded presence in more than 170 countries and approximately 65 percent of revenue generated outside of the U.S. With an advertising channel on YouTube and announced plans for cloud computing, IBM effectively communicates its message to the masses.
2009 marks the first year-on-year decline in Microsoft’s public history, despite a game console division that continues to be profitable. As the market matures, the giant faces stiff competition from faster, quicker rivals. In terms of browsing, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has dropped 10 percentage points in market share every two years, while Mozilla Firefox gains 10 percentage points in the same time period. Additionally, a US $300 million ad campaign featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates could have fared better with audiences. However, Microsoft’s Bing, a new search engine that launched in June to great reviews, is poised to give Google a real run for its money.
Continued diversification of Google’s business, from new advertising models to online publishing, drives growth. The common theme is low price and high functionality with added transparency. Google Chrome is two times faster than competitors and stole browser market share equal to third- and fourth-placed competitors within 24 hours. This year, Google has continued to innovate. It released the Android phone software on September 2008, which involved disclosing the source code for the Google phone to engineers around the world. As the brand grows it has to deal with the inevitable mistrust and ugliness ascribed to being a very large, diversified, and very profitable company.
In the fast-growing mobile computing market, Intel stands to find success. Determined to break into this category, the world’s number one chipmaker announced a partnership with the world’s number one handset maker in 2009. If it works, the Intel agreement with Nokia will put its latest chips into the hands of millions of customers. The line of chips, Atom, is meant to carry Intel into this higher growth market but has so far faced criticism for its cost and power consumption. However, Atom is finding success in the low-power, clutch size netbooks market. With an appeal toward more value conscious consumers in the midst of recession, netbooks have allowed Intel to stay both relevant and top of mind while it tries to crack the code on smaller mobile devices.
HP has surpassed Dell as the leading seller of PCs in the U.S., even with falling sales for the category. Overall globally, HP’s market share is also on the rise. A 20.5 percent increase follows last year’s acquisition of service-provider EDS. This year, HP also began a global review of its media holdings in Asia Pacific, with the focus on consolidating down to one, key, effective agency. In an increasingly price driven sector, HP is finding more way to successfully use its brand to stand apart.
Cisco is the leader in networking services but is still perceived as catching up in other parts of the computer services industry. It has a strong reputation for quality and reliability, boasting more than a quarter century in this relatively young industry. Its heavy investments in R&D, and its stated mission to innovate to customers’ needs, signal Cisco’s shift to become a broader provider of hardware and services, which should increase the role of its brand.
The recession won’t take a bite out of this Apple. Declining Mac sales and fears for the company’s future without brand visionary Steve Jobs, were outweighed by record high iPod sales, doubling sales for the iPod Touch, and all-time high market share for Mac OS software. Price might be a barrier for cost-conscious consumers, but Apple responded quickly with high margin, low-priced products like the US $99 iPhone and a new, voice-activated iPod Shuffle. The Apple brand is the most supported within its industry, and among the most iconic of relatively young brands in the world.
Oracle has seen more category leadership as it beats out competitors in application sales and new software license revenues. With the recent purchase of Sun Microsystems, Oracle also acquired MySQL, and entered the hardware category. Its partnership with HP on a new database machine puts Oracle on track to steal market share from both Microsoft and IBM. As Oracle invests US $3 billion a year in R&D, its future success looks promising.