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May 1, 2009

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Google First 100 Billion Dollar Brand

Google just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The search engine giant is not only the world’s biggest brand, it is also the first brand worth $100 billion. A report from the market research firm Millward Brown shows Google has kept its position as the world’s most powerful brand. It valued the company at $101.4 billion. This is 25 per cent higher than its biggest rival Microsoft, which is the second most valuable brand. The “Top 100 Most Powerful Brands” report lists Coca Cola at number three, followed by IBM and McDonalds. Technology companies make up eight of the top ten. Google’s brand is helped because it is now also a verb in everyday use. It is very common to hear people say “Google it” when they want some information.


The report is the world’s largest study of what consumers and businesses think of brands. It says a brand name is key for any business to grow. “A strong brand can help protect a business from risk, and position it for future growth,” it says. The authors believe a strong brand name is “the ultimate return on investment”. Joanna Seddon, chief executive of Millward Brown, told reporters: "In the current [economic] environment, brand has become even more important because it can help to sustain companies in tough times." Her report says brand value has grown, even through the recession: “The value of brands remains strong…the total value of the top 100 most valuable brands has increased to just under $2 trillion.”


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. BRANDS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about brands. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

Google / search engines / brands / market research / rivals / technology companies / consumers / businesses / risk / investment / tough times / recession / $2 trillion

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. BRANDS: What do you think of these brands? Give them a score from 1 (terrible) to 10 (excellent). Complete this table. Share your answers with your partner(s). Change partners and share again.

Brand

Logo

Product

Advertising

Google

 

 

 

McDonalds

 

 

 

Nokia

 

 

 

BBC

 

 

 

Ferrari

 

 

 

Chanel

 

 

 

4. GOOGLE: Students A strongly believe Google is the most useful website on the Internet; Students B strongly believe there are other, more useful websites than Google. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. RIVALS: Which of these rivals are best. Share your ideas with your partner(s).

  • Google / Microsoft
  • BBC / CNN
  • Coca Cola / Pepsi Cola
  • Master Card / Visa
  • Ford / Toyota
  • Nintendo / Sony
  • Gucci / Chanel
  • British English / American English

6. SEARCH ENGINE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the term ‘search engine’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Google is the world’s most valuable brand.

T / F

b.

Google is named the world’s most powerful brand for the first time.

T / F

c.

McDonalds is the fifth most powerful brand in the world.

T / F

d.

“To Google” is now part of the English vocabulary.

T / F

e.

A report says a company’s brand name is actually not that important.

T / F

f.

The report says a brand name can help a company grow in the future.

T / F

g.

The report says tough times help a brand to become more important.

T / F

h.

The value of brands worldwide has decreased to just under $2 trillion.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

giant

a.

maintained

2

firm

b.

present

3.

kept

c.

usual

4.

helped

d.

research

5.

common

e.

company

6.

study

f.

profit

7.

protect

g.

colossus

8.

return

h.

stays

9.

current

i.

aided

10.

remains

j.

safeguard

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one. combination is possible):

1.

Google just keeps

a.

at $101.4 billion

2

The search

b.

everyday use

3.

It valued the company

c.

in tough times

4.

Technology companies make

d.

for any business to grow

5.

it is now also a verb in

e.

getting bigger and bigger

6.

what consumers and businesses

f.

under $2 trillion

7.

a brand name is key

g.

think of brands

8.

help protect

h.

engine giant

9.

it can help to sustain companies

i.

a business from risk

10.

increased to just

j.

up eight of the top ten

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Google just keeps __________ bigger and bigger. The search engine giant is not only the world’s biggest brand, it is also the first brand __________ $100 billion. A report from the market research firm Millward Brown shows Google has kept its __________ as the world’s most powerful brand. It __________ the company at $101.4 billion. This is 25 per cent higher than its biggest rival Microsoft, which is the second most valuable brand. The “Top 100 Most Powerful Brands” report lists Coca Cola at number three, __________ by IBM and McDonalds. Technology companies __________ up eight of the top ten. Google’s brand is helped because it is now also a __________ in everyday use. It is very __________ to hear people say “Google it” when they want some information.

 

 

 

followed
verb
worth
valued
common
getting
position
make

The report is the world’s largest __________ of what consumers and businesses think of brands. It says a brand name is __________ for any business to grow. “A strong brand can help protect a business from risk, and position it for future __________,” it says. The authors believe a strong brand name is “the ultimate __________ on investment”. Joanna Seddon, chief executive of Millward Brown, told reporters: "In the __________ [economic] environment, brand has become even more important because it can help to sustain companies in __________ times." Her report says brand value has grown, even through the recession: “The value of brands __________ strong…the total __________ of the top 100 most valuable brands has increased to just under $2 trillion.”

 

 

growth
remains
key
current
value
study
return
tough

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the gaps.

Google just keeps _________________ bigger. The search engine giant is not only the world’s biggest brand, it is also the first brand worth $100 billion. _________________ market research firm Millward Brown shows Google has kept its position as the world’s most powerful brand. It valued the company at $101.4 billion. This is 25 per cent ____________________ rival Microsoft, which is the second most valuable brand. The “Top 100 Most Powerful Brands” report lists Coca Cola at number three, followed by IBM and McDonalds. Technology companies _________________ the top ten. Google’s brand is helped because it is now also _________________ use. It is _________________ hear people say “Google it” when they want some information.

The report is the world’s ___________________ consumers and businesses think of brands. It says a brand name _________________ business to grow. “A strong brand can help protect a business from risk, and position it for future growth,” it says. The authors _________________ brand name is “the ultimate return on investment”. Joanna Seddon, chief executive of Millward Brown, told reporters: "In the current [economic] environment, brand has ___________________ important because it can help to sustain companies in tough times." Her report says brand _________________, even through the recession: “The value of brands remains strong…the total value of the top 100 most valuable brands has _________________ under $2 trillion.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘search’ and ‘engine’.

search

engine

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • getting
  • worth
  • kept
  • rival
  • make up
  • common
  • consumers
  • key
  • position
  • ultimate
  • recession
  • under

STUDENT SEARCH ENGINE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about search engines in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

BRANDS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘search engine’?

c)

What do you think about Google?

d)

Do you always try to buy or use top brands?

e)

How important is a company’s name in making it successful?

f)

What do you think Google does to promote its brand name?

g)

Are there any company names or logos you think are stupid?

h)

Do you think technology companies will always be the most powerful?

i)

What do you think of the use of “Google” as a verb?

j)

Would you use other company names as verbs? (Try some.)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What are your favourite brands?

c)

How important is Google in your life?

d)

Do you think it’s important for international brands to sound English?

e)

Do you think a brand can become powerful globally if it uses non-English characters in its logo (Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, etc)?

f)

What do you think of “Breaking News English” as a brand name?

g)

Why is a brand name important to survive tough economic times?

h)

Why do you think brand value has increased, even in a recession?

i)

If you were to start a company, what brand name would you decide on?

j)

What questions would you ask Joanna Seddon about brands?

LANGUAGE

Google just keeps getting bigger and (1) _____. The search engine giant is not only the world’s biggest brand, it is also the first brand worth $100 billion. A report from the market research (2) _____ Millward Brown shows Google has kept its position as the world’s most powerful brand. It valued the company (3) _____ $101.4 billion. This is 25 per cent higher than its biggest rival Microsoft, which is the second most valuable brand. The “Top 100 Most Powerful Brands” report (4) _____ Coca Cola at number three, followed (5) _____ IBM and McDonalds. Technology companies make up eight of the top ten. Google’s brand is helped because it is now also a verb in everyday (6) _____. It is very common to hear people say “Google it” when they want some information.

The report is the world’s largest study (7) _____ what consumers and businesses think of brands. It says a brand name is key for any business to grow. “A strong brand can help (8) _____ a business from risk, and position it for future growth,” it says. The authors believe a strong brand name is “the ultimate return on investment”. Joanna Seddon, chief executive of Millward Brown, told reporters: "In the (9) _____ [economic] environment, brand has become even more important because it can help to sustain companies in (10) _____ times." Her report says brand value has (11) _____, even through the recession: “The value of brands remains strong…the total value of the top 100 most valuable brands has increased to (12) _____ under $2 trillion.”

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

bigger

(b)

biggest

(c)

big

(d)

biggie

2.

(a)

firmly

(b)

firmest

(c)

firm

(d)

firmness

3.

(a)

on

(b)

for

(c)

in

(d)

at

4.

(a)

listing

(b)

lists

(c)

list

(d)

listings

5.

(a)

at

(b)

to

(c)

for

(d)

by

6.

(a)

used

(b)

using

(c)

use

(d)

used to

7.

(a)

for

(b)

of

(c)

by

(d)

to

8.

(a)

protect

(b)

protective

(c)

protects

(d)

protection

9.

(a)

current

(b)

currency

(c)

currant

(d)

currants

10.

(a)

through

(b)

though

(c)

tough

(d)

thorough

11.

(a)

growth

(b)

grew

(c)

growing

(d)

grown

12.

(a)

only

(b)

just

(c)

simply

(d)

fair

WRITING: 

Write about search engines for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about the Millward Brown report on the “Top 100 Most Powerful Brands”. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. RIVALS: Make a poster about different rival brands. What makes one better than another? Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. FAVOURITE BRAND: Write a magazine article about your favourite brand. Include imaginary interviews with someone who also loves the brand and someone who hates it.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Google’s head of branding. Ask him/her three questions about the Google brand. Give him/her three ideas on what (s)he could do to add more value to the brand. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

F

f.

T

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

giant

a.

colossus

2

firm

b.

company

3.

kept

c.

maintained

4.

helped

d.

aided

5.

common

e.

usual

6.

study

f.

research

7.

protect

g.

safeguard

8.

return

h.

profit

9.

current

i.

present

10.

remains

j.

stays

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Google just keeps

a.

getting bigger and bigger

2

The search

b.

engine giant

3.

It valued the company

c.

at $101.4 billion

4.

Technology companies make

d.

up eight of the top ten

5.

it is now also a verb in

e.

everyday use

6.

what consumers and businesses

f.

think of brands

7.

a brand name is key

g.

for any business to grow

8.

help protect

h.

a business from risk

9.

it can help to sustain companies

i.

in tough times

10.

increased to just

j.

under $2 trillion

GAP FILL:

Google first 100 billion dollar brand

Google just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The search engine giant is not only the world’s biggest brand, it is also the first brand worth $100 billion. A report from the market research firm Millward Brown shows Google has kept its position as the world’s most powerful brand. It valued the company at $101.4 billion. This is 25 per cent higher than its biggest rival Microsoft, which is the second most valuable brand. The “Top 100 Most Powerful Brands” report lists Coca Cola at number three, followed by IBM and McDonalds. Technology companies make up eight of the top ten. Google’s brand is helped because it is now also a verb in everyday use. It is very common to hear people say “Google it” when they want some information.

The report is the world’s largest study of what consumers and businesses think of brands. It says a brand name is key for any business to grow. “A strong brand can help protect a business from risk, and position it for future growth,” it says. The authors believe a strong brand name is “the ultimate return on investment”. Joanna Seddon, chief executive of Millward Brown, told reporters: "In the current [economic] environment, brand has become even more important because it can help to sustain companies in tough times." Her report says brand value has grown, even through the recession: “The value of brands remains strong…the total value of the top 100 most valuable brands has increased to just under $2 trillion.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - d

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 -a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

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