TECHNOLOGY

The most valuable brand in the world is …

BY Marianne Wilson

Tech companies continue to dominate an annual listing of the most valuable global brands.

With little sign of a slowdown in growth, Amazon took the top spot in the 2019 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands by WPP and Kantar. Rising in brand value by  52% year-on-year to $315.5 billion, Amazon moves ahead of Apple (No. 2, $309.5 billion) and Google (No. 3, $309.0 billion), which both rose by a modest 3% and 2% respectively, to end the technology giants’ 12-year dominance. Microsoft and Visa rounded out the top five.  Technology companies have led BrandZ’s Top 100 ever since its first global brand value ranking in 2006, when Microsoft took the top spot.

Also making the top 10 were Facebook, No. 6, followed by Alibaba, Tencent, McDonald’s and AT&T.  This year’s fastest rising brands included Instagram (No. 44, $28.2 billion), which now counts more than 1 billion users worldwide. It rose 47 places, with 95% growth in brand value. The second fastest rising brand was Lululemon, whose brand value grew 77% to $6.92 billion.

“Amazon’s phenomenal brand value growth of almost $108 billion in the last year demonstrates how brands are now less anchored to individual categories and regions,” said Doreen Wang, Kantar’s global head of BrandZ. The boundaries are blurring as technology fluency allow brands, such as Amazon, Google, and Alibaba, to offer a range of services across multiple consumer touchpoints. Using their consumer experience and expertise, these brands are crossing over into the business services sector, creating new opportunities for brand growth.”

The BrandZ ranking combines analyzed market data from Bloomberg with extensive consumer insights from over 3.7 million consumers around the world, covering more than 166,000 different brands in over 50 markets. To be eligible, a brand must be owned by a publicly traded enterprise, or its financials are published in the public domain.  Bank brands derive at least 20% of earnings from retail banking, and unicorn brands have their most recent valuation publicly available. (In prior years, only publicly-traded or audited companies were eligible).

The key trends highlighted in this year’s BrandZ Global Top 100 study include:

  • Luxury is the fastest growing category (+29%) followed by retail (+25%), fuelled by the shifting preferences to digital channels from GenY and GenZ consumers.
  • Technology, finance and retail categories dominate, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total value of brands.
  • Nine newcomers appear in the Top 100, predominantly driven by Chinese and U.S. technology brands with disruptive business models including Dell Technologies, Xbox, Haier, Meituan and Xiaomi.
  • Asian brands increase their presence with 15 Chinese, three Indian and one Indonesian brand making the ranking among a total of 23 from the region, including LIC and Tata Consultancy Services.
  • A new generation of brands emerge – GenZ brands (created after 1996) are miles ahead in growth rate as they add more value to the ranking per year of existence – almost four times more than brands created in the millennial era of 1977 to 1995. A total of 23 GenZ brands appear in the Top 100 with an average age of 16 years compared to 18 millennial brands averaging 33 years.
  • Sustainable brands – Brand owners are demonstrating the importance of improving and reinforcing consumer perceptions that they are ‘responsible’ through social, environmental and corporate initiatives.
  • China and US trade wars affected the growth of the Top 100 ranking, which slowed to +7% over the last 12 months. Consumer confidence was hit as the trade tariffs impacted several brand categories with Cars, Logistics and Banks suffering most.

For the complete report, click here.

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