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Microsoft Tops Best Brands List

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Computers triumphed over soft drinks, and Mickey Mouse held his own in the latest report on America's best-known corporate brands. Microsoft Corp. unseated the Coca-Cola Co. in terms of brand power, while the Walt Disney Co. kept the No. 3 slot in the annual survey conducted by the brand strategy and communications firm Corporate Branding Llc.

The results are based on more than 6,000 interviews with executives (vp or higher) at top U.S. corporations. Pepsico, on the other hand, lagged behind its longtime soft-drink rival at No. 12. That doesn't mean Pepsico's brand strength is waning, Corporate Branding group director Steven Makadok said.

"It probably has more to do with the favorability attribute, overall reputation of management and investor perception." Rounding out the top 10 were Johnson & Johnson, Harley-Davidson Inc., Campbell Soup Co., FedEx Corp., Hershey Foods, General Electric and Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Inc.