William’s Words: The World’s Strongest Personal Brands in 2010

William ArrudaWilliam’s Words
By William Arruda

A note from the Founder of Reach Personal Branding.

The World’s Strongest Personal Brands in 2010
Throughout 2010, we asked the Reach community who they think is the world’s strongest brand and we are delighted to reveal the results. Although this poll is not scientific – we know the Reach community is not necessarily representative of the nation or the world – the results were fascinating. In collecting results, we did not prompt those we surveyed, but rather asked them to identify the one person they believe to be the world’s strongest personal brand. The list included captains of industry, celebrities, athletes and politicians, etc. In all, 116 people made it into the list. Below are the top ten:

1. Barack Obama
2. Oprah
3. Tiger Woods
4. Steve Jobs
5. Bill Gates
6. Madonna
7. Richard Branson
8. Donald Trump
9. Michael Jackson
10. Warren Buffet

We found the data fascinating and got some results we did not expect.

  • Holy Brand! – Religious/spiritual figures came up frequently. Jesus, God, the Dali Lama, Buddha, Ghandi and Mohammed all received multiple votes.
  • The Personification of Coke – Although we asked about personal brands, a few corporate brands also made it into the list with multiple votes – Apple, Google, Nike and Disney. Coke received almost as many votes as Tiger Woods!
  • Dead or Alive – There were many personal brands that were included who have passed away. Michael Jackson made it into the top ten. Lady Di and Elvis Presley also made it into the top half of the list.
  • Real or Not – And you didn’t have to be human to make it onto the list. Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse got multiple votes.
  • Fame or Infamy? – Some of history’s most infamous characters – Hitler, Osama Bin Laden – were identified as strong brands. 

We will run the survey again in 2011 so we can see how the list has changed so stay tuned.
How strong is your brand? Find out here.


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