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There are no hard and fast rules for a company looking to maintain its brand in a slow economy. Some brands hunker down and put new ventures on hold. Others see opportunity in hardship, moving into new product areas and expanding their lines to capture more of a shrinking market. Others view financial pressures as an opportunity to redefine the brand and its relationship to consumers. Regardless of strategy, the 20 brands on this ranking reflect the brands that showed the most year-on-year growth in Millward Brown Optimor's fifth annual BrandZ ranking of the world's most valuable brands. They represent some of the largest companies in the world, and the smallest multinationals, proving that size in no way limits--or guarantees--a company's potential for growth. Sometimes, particularly bad performance in the previous year accounts for much of a brand's improvement, but coming out of a bad year requires innovation and good management, just as coming from a year of good sales does. As such, these brands' achievements shouldn't be trivialized. Photo Credit: n0nick

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