Apple has won another bunch of awards for being the western world’s number-one brand. This isn’t at all surprising as Apple is extremely brand focussed and has spent years finessing this cuddly but cool brand - so much so that it has an almost messianic image in the eyes of its army of cult-like followers (customers).

Arch-rival Microsoft, on the other hand, clearly has brand problems - as if you need to tell Mac users… It won the following less-than-impressive Brandjunkie Survey awards: “Which brand do you want to argue with?” and “If you could rebrand any brand, what brand would it be?”

Apple won an amazing six out of the ten 2008 Brandjunkie Survey awards.

What brand would you most like to sit next to at a dinner party? Apple won this one, and it’s hard to argue that Steve Jobs would make excellent company at your table - if only because you’d get to eat more of the filet mignon while he munched through the greens.

Although Steve would refuse to discuss anything new or even contemplate letting you know what his choice of dessert would be, at least you could hear how brilliant the iPod and Leopard are, rather than learn all about the woes of Windows Vista - although I’m sure that Steve would drop a few of those in before the cheese was brought out.

As Brandchannel notes “Dinner parties are about being civilized, interesting, and engaged.” Apple might be less than civilised some days and isn’t bothered about being engaged when it knows that it’s right, there isn’t one more interesting company out there. Apple has history, sex appeal, intelligence, a sense of humour, taste and celebrity status.

Virgin was at number two, and I suspect that’s again about wanting to sit next to the company figurehead. Sir Richard Branson looks like fun, he’s rich and can get you upgraded to Upper Class.

At number six, sexy lingerie outlet - I really should rephrase that – Victoria’s Secret is an obvious choice, as are Absolut (9), Chanel (5) and Armani (10). But would you really like to sit next to Coca-Cola (4) unless you were the designated driver?

How about Google, which came in at number three? Well, the search engine may well have the answer to everything and it does pretend to be more civilised than most but it doesn’t actually create anything real itself, just list and play around with other people’s data. Wikipedia (not placed) would be more direct but could begin to bore after starters.

Apple was also first choice in the category “What brand, if sent back 100 years, would have the biggest impact on the course of history?”.

Microsoft came in second this time but would it have been the business behemoth it is today without Apple there to get Windows going in the first place? Office is a great product but Microsoft has made much more money via Windows, and that popped up only after the Mac pioneered a mass-market graphical user interface. (And, anyway, Excel was first created for the Mac, not DOS or Windows.)

If Apple was around in 1908 the world would certainly have been quite different, but would everything have to be either black or white and then suddenly be available in a rainbow palette of soft pastels? Imagine the first version of iLife: iPhoto 1’s tool to really bring out the sepia in your Kodak Brownie snaps; iMovie’s crazy silent movie onscreen title effects; and GarageBand’s super-fast 78rpm Gramophone setting allowing for tracks longer than the standard two-minutes you’d get from rival phonograph cylinders.

We would have spent less time inventing advanced mathematical functionality for calculators, and instead concentrated on making them as thin and touch-sensitive as possible - and make sure they could play video. And Apple could have sued The Beatles for infringing its copyright.

Other frontrunners are more curious. Coca Cola (4) and Ford (5) really were around over 100 years ago. Even IBM (6) was going by then, although known then as the Tabulating Machine Company.

Apple was a shoe-in for the category “Which brand inspires you the most?” but what saddo is so inspired by Coca-Cola (3) or Starbucks (5)?

The same goes for the “If you were to describe yourself as being a brand, what brand would you be?”. Comparing yourself to something cool, sexy and great looking is really not hard to imagine, but what’s so wrong with you that you’d describe yourself as sugary, fizzy and cold (Coca Cola, 3, or Pepsi, 13)?

Could we really not live without our Macs, iPods and copy of iDVD? Apparently not, as Apple won the category “What brand can you not live without?” as well. I’d have thought that Starbucks was a more realistic winner but the coffee shop limped in at number five. Marlboro Lights and Heroin were strangely unplaced, but thank the Lord that in second place was the more life-affirming “None”.

Finally, Apple triumphed as the brand “most likely to revolutionize the branding industry in the next five years”.

Seeing as Apple has already revolutionised the branding industry several times over I guess it’s a fair bet that it will do it again. Facebook (4) is rightly up there but the third placed result “Doesn't exist yet” is more likely correct, given the pace of change.

2,000 brandchannel readers from 107 countries answered the 10-question online survey, and it’s obvious that a lot of these marketing professionals are Apple fans and/or work for Coca Cola.