5 Brands that hit the heights

1 Twitter
The microblogging tool hit its stride this year, expanding its user base to journalists, companies, and politicians. Any brand that inspires a new form of a verb has made it.

2 Disney
Even in challenging economic times, the Disney magic holds strong, with High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Wall-E, and Jonas Brothers fever.

3 Google
This now indispensable search engine had quite a year, whether in making its foray into healthcare with Google Health, to launching its own open-source browser, Google Chrome, it remained busy. Other additions, like its Android smartphone, prove the company won't remain a one-note business.

4 Toyota
The automaker's reputation is soaring, due in part to its small- to midsized, fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as a year of consumer campaigns, like online games for black women.

5 McDonald's
The company differentiated itself from the pack during the Olympics with a spate of movie tie-ins. Also, its Dollar Menu continued to attract interest during the recession.

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