Microsoft may have yielded its crown as the tech company with the largest market cap to Apple this week
but it's still No. 1 when it comes to inspiration. Inspiration
Blvd., a brand-consulting firm, surveyed 1,752 consumers to identify America's most inspiring company. Bill and Melinda Gates' charitable work has had the perhaps unintended consequence of
overhauling consumers' perception of the software giant, Laurie Burkitt points out.
Others in the Top 10, from No. 2 downwards, are: Google, Apple, Ford, Wal-Mart, McDonald's,
General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Chick-Fil-A, Target and Procter & Gamble.
"We set out asking whether companies that inspired others were more likely to connect and draw
shoppers," say Terry Barber, Terry Barber, chief inspiration officer for the company. "We see now there's a strong link between the message consumers take away and how they act on
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