Forbes: 3 MN Cos. Among “Top Brands”

General Mills ranked second on Forbes magazine's list of the top 100 brands in the world-ahead of Google and Apple; Target and Best Buy ranked 21st and 34th, respectively.

Three Minnesota companies-General Mills, Target, and Best Buy-ranked high on Forbes magazine's recent list of the top 100 corporate brands in the world.

Golden Valley-based General Mills ranked second on the list, beating out well-known giants Google (third), Apple (sixth), and (10th). Meanwhile, Minneapolis-based Target ranked 21st and Richfield-based Best Buy ranked 34th.

Forbes based the rankings on a consumer survey that it conducted in August. The magazine generated a list of 100 consumer-facing corporate brands using financial metrics such as revenue, profits, sales, earnings growth, total return to shareholders, and advertising spending. It then surveyed 2,500 adults in the United States, asking them to rank the brands on a numeric scale of one to nine based on 12 attributes, which included honesty and trustworthiness, ethical leadership, and investment in innovative ideas.

General Mills, which manufactures and markets packaged foods, is the third most trusted brand, according to Forbes' survey. The company ranked second in the ethical leadership category and 17th in the innovation category.

Retail giant Target ranked 27th in the trust category, 28th in ethical leadership, and 50th in innovation. Electronics retailer Best Buy ranked 33rd, 36th, and 51st in the three categories, respectively.

Topping the list was health care products company Johnson & Johnson. According to Forbes, people have developed a trusted relationship with the company, primarily because of its baby products.

Investment services firm Fannie Mae (100th) and oil company BP (99th) were at the bottom of the list, which according to Forbes, is reflective of the recent financial and energy crises that have captivated the public.