In the race for global consumer domination, Apple is now runner-up and that ain’t bad. Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, released its 13th Annual Best Global Brands Report today with technology brands continuing to dominate. For Apple, it was stellar sales in both developed and emerging markets over the last year that got them to their new position on the charts.

Apple has made a huge leap from their #8 ranking last year to #2 this year, catapulting ahead of IBM, Google, Microsoft, GE and McDonalds. These rankings are based on how a brand touches and benefits an organization, from driving bottom-line business results to delivering on customer expectations.

[quote] Despite Steve Jobs’ passing, consumers’ emotional connection to the Apple brand remains stronger than ever – this was made clear just recently with the launch of iPhone 5. Even in the face of increasing competition from rivals Google and Samsung, the company continues to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the Apple brand and its intellectual property. Such commitment enabled Apple to post quarterly revenue of USD $35 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.8 billion in July. [/quote]

Interbrand notes that few companies have been able to change the way we live and work like Apple has, in turn, creating the highly dedicated ‘Apple Fan Boy/Girl’. Jobs was able to recognize that a brand was so much more than a logo: “He instinctively knew that his customers needed to feel a certain way when they picked up an Apple product, when they entered an Apple store, or when they visited the Apple website.”

No surprise that Coca-Cola still holds the #1 spot. Sadly, but also not surprising, RIM was pushed from #56 all the way to #93. Other top performing tech brands include Amazon, Samsung and Oracle.