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Ferrari is the world’s most powerful brand, outperforming much larger automakers as well as corporate giants Apple, Google and Coca Cola, according to the results of a new British study.

The annual Fortune Global 500 list compiled by research firm Brand Finance puts Ferrari in the No. 1 spot despite its much smaller financial footprint compared with the other leaders in the study of the world’s most-famous brands.

Ferrari’s brand value of $3.6 billion paled in comparison with second-place Google at $52.1 bill and Coca Cola at third with $34.1 billion. But Ferrari surged ahead with the intangible values, defined as brand loyalty and affection, as well as in more-solid terms such as relative profit margin, revenue per customer, and marketing and advertising.

The only similar luxury brand topping the list was Hermes, which was ranked No. 5 with a brand value of $4.5 billion.

While Ferrari heads the list as Most Powerful Brand, Apple scored the top ranking as the Most Valuable Brand, with a brand value of $87.3 billion. It was followed on that list by Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Walmart.

But it’s the name of Ferrari that holds sway when all factors are considered in its ability to be enthusiastically recognized and admired, with the automaker’s Prancing Horse logo adorning any number of consumer items aside from its famous performance cars. The strength of the brand is key to driving growth and profits, according to Brand Finance.

“It is always a pleasure to top any list and still more so when the competition includes some of the world's most famous companies,” said Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo in a statement. “This achievement proves that even in very tough economic times, Italy can still offer the world businesses of excellence.”

Bob Golfen, Automotive Editor for SPEED.com, is a veteran auto writer based in Phoenix, Arizona, with a passion for collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. SPEED.com fans can email Bob Golfen at bgolfen@gmail.com

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