Companies and Products with Outstanding Brand Equity

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While many companies and products have established brand equity, a few of the most recognized are Tylenol, Kirkland Signature by Costco (COST), Coca-Cola (KO), Starbucks (SBUX), and Porsche. All of these companies enforce quality control to ensure the best possible service or product is delivered to the client or consumer.

Key Takeaways

  • Brand equity refers to a value premium that a company generates from a product with a recognizable name when compared to a generic equivalent.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol and Costco’s Kirkland have been great brands for their parent companies.
  • Companies that have grown into brand powerhouses include Coca-Cola and Starbucks.


Manufactured since 1955 by McNeil (now a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), Tylenol ranks above average in the pain relief category. A study performed by researchers at the University of Chicago showed that, even though Tylenol is “physically homogenous” with generic brands of acetaminophen, consumers without any expert knowledge end up choosing Johnson & Johnson’s brand about 26% more than its generic counterpart.

More recently, Tylenol has been able to grow its market with the creations of Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol Cold & Flu, and Tylenol Sinus Congestion & Pain.

Kirkland Signature

Since 2009, the Kirkland Signature brand by Costco has maintained positive growth. Kirkland Signature encompasses hundreds of items, including clothing, coffee, laundry detergent, and food and beverages.

Costco even provides members with exclusive access to cheaper gasoline at its private gas stations. Adding to Kirkland’s popularity is the fact that its products often cost less than other name brands. Costco’s Kirkland is similar to other private label brands.


Thanks in part to Starbucks’ loyalty program, which in Q1 2021 had more than 21 million members, up 15% year over year, Starbucks is one of the most powerful brands in the world. Rated the fifth-most-admired company in the world by Fortune magazine. Starbucks is held in high regard for its pledge to social responsibility.

With more than 32,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks remains the largest roaster and retailer of Arabica coffee beans and specialty coffees. Among Fortune 500 rankings for 2021, Starbucks ranks no. 125.


With a brand value of $64.4 billion according to Forbes’ 2020 list, up 9% from 2019, Coca-Cola is often rated as the best soda brand in the world. However, the brand itself represents more than just the products—it’s symbolic of positive experiences, a proud history, even the U.S. itself. 

Also recognized for its unique marketing campaigns, the Coca-Cola corporation has made a global impact on its consumer engagement. According to Fortune, Coca-Cola is the 22nd most admired company in the world. Among beverage companies, it ranks no. 1. For the Fortune 500 rankings, Coca-Cola comes in at no. 93.


Porsche, a brand with strong equity in the automobile sector, retains its image and reliability through the use of high-quality, unique materials. As a luxury brand, Porsche provides owners of its vehicles not only with a product but an experience. In comparison to other vehicle brands in its class such as Mercedes Benz and BMW, Porsche ranks no. 1 in terms of automobile brand rankings, according to Consumer Reports.

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