What is the world's most valuable consumer-facing brand? If you'd asked the guys behind the BrandZ survey at any point over the last four years, they'd have told you "Google," but in 2011 their answer has changed. Apple is now the hottest property in terms of consumer goodwill, earning an estimated valuation of $153.3 billion and leading a pack that includes the likes of Coca-Cola, BMW, HSBC, and Disney. The tech sector had a very strong year as a whole, with Facebook's brand improving in value by a staggering 246 percent (to $19.1b) and Amazon becoming the world's most valuable retailer (at $37.6b) in spite of having no actual stores. Sadly, there were some downers too, as Nintendo lost 37 percent of its brand worth over the past year, Nokia dropped by 28 percent, and the BlackBerry marque was considered 20 percent less awesome than before. Punch the source link to learn more.

[Thanks, Bruce]