Brandchannel which uh, brands itself, as a "brand consultancy" company surveyed over 2500 people for the poll. They note:
Year after year brandchannel voters identify brands that the mainstream world eventually catches up with; impact is felt first by these early adopters.
Somehow I'm not totally convinced Apple is the top brand for Joe Smith from North America or even Joe Smith from Anywhere in the World. We are a bit biased at TUAW, but what do you think? How would you have ranked the top five from the US/Canada list: Apple, Google, Starbucks, Target, and, um, Lance Armstrong? What about the top five world rankers: Google, Apple, Skype, Starbucks, and Ikea? Brandchannel reminds you that you should:
Vote for the brands that had the most impact on you that year. Impact can be defined as good or bad.
So duke it out. Inquiring minds want to know.