BusinessWeek has put together a list of the ten companies it believes are the most influential in the world. Not a scientific poll–a 14-member advisory board made the selections–but still worth taking a look.
Perhaps more interesting than the companies that made the list, is that BusinessWeek acknowledges its selections include companies that have successfully engaged their customers using social media.
The core characteristics of influence are unchanged, whether it’s inspiring a loyal following, spawning big ideas, or building up mammoth market share. What has changed is how players achieve it. A company’s physical assets are less important now than the force of its ideas. In the age of blogging and instant communication, consumers are less the recipients of corporate influence than powerful actors who help shape it. "We’re coming to realize a brand is not just what the manufacturer says it is," says Shelly Lazarus, chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, "but everything that the consumer or the customer experiences."
You can browse the list here.