TECHNOLOGY

The most valuable global retail brand is…

BY Dan Berthiaume

A familiar name sits on top of the most valuable global retail brand rankings.

The second annual BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands ranking and report identifies Amazon as the world’s most valuable retail brand. The online giant, which took the top spot in 2018 as well, has a brand value of $315.5 billion, more than double that of China’s Alibaba ($131.2 billion), which took the number two spot.

Alibaba, which ranked third in 2018, edged out last year’s number two, McDonald’s, which slipped to third with a brand value of $130.4 billion. Rounding out the top five: The Home Depot and Nike. (The list of the top 10 most valuable global retail brands and their value is listed at the end of article.)

According to the ranking, the world’s most valuable retail brands are worth $339 billion more this year than last, a total of $1.4 trillion. With a brand value of $315.5 billion, Amazon accounts for nearly a quarter (23%) of the total brand value of the Top 75. However, second-ranked Alibaba saw its brand value grow 48% in a year, which BrandZ analysis attributes to efforts such as partnering with seventh-ranked Starbucks to co-locate in all Alibaba properties and disrupting its logistics model to better facilitate super-fast delivery.

Key trends highlighted in this year’s BrandZ Retail ranking include:

McDonald’s continues to dominate fast-food – Despite slipping into third place in the retail ranking this year, having been overtaken by Alibaba, McDonald’s is still the most valuable fast food brand in the world. It has successfully tapped into the growing demand for healthier food and packaging, as well as improved its delivery business, including a partnership Uber Eats.

Athleisure trend – Innovative new fabrics and designs that double as sports and leisurewear has boosted Lululemon by 94%. It is now number 35 in the ranking with a brand value of $6.9 billion. Nike is the most valuable apparel brand (number five in the retail ranking) worth $47.4 billion, while Adidas (number 20) also grew 13% to $13.4 billion.

Levi’s enters the ranking – The well-established denim brand enters the retail ranking ahead of its IPO this year. Levi’s refocused positioning with women in the last few years which has led to strong growth in new markets including Italy and China. Levi’s brand value is $2.4 billion and enters at number 74.

Democratization of luxury fashion results in the second fastest growth category –Over the past five years, the 10 most valuable luxury brands have improved their perceived social and environmental responsibility and idealism, while strengthening their online experience. New business models for resale or rental of luxury items are adding competition to the sector for the traditional heritage luxury brands.

Brand equity is still important to retailers focusing on price – Amazon, Ikea (number 15) and Aldi (number 19) all continue to grow their brand values in 2019 with their low-price propositions through building a strong brand and offering a great experience. Other retail brands – such as Adidas, Hermès and Lowe’s, justify their price premium with strong equity and continue to grow their brand value.

Consumer consciousness about the environmental cost of fast fashion impacts retailers – Zara (-10% to $22.6 billion) and H&M (-39% to $6.4 billion) were impacted by rising concern about the cost of producing, transporting and selling disposable products.

Specialist retail brands join the ranking – Among the nine new entrants to this year’s ranking were some highly differentiated and purposeful brands, including outdoor sports brand The North Face (number 66) and Indian jeweler Tanishq (number 72).

Commissioned by WPP and conducted by Kantar, the BrandZ ranking combines analyzed market data from Bloomberg with consumer insights from over 3.7 million consumers around the world, covering more than 166,000 different brands in over 50 markets.

Here are BrandZ’s top 10 most valuable retail brands:

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