Apple retains the world's most valuable brand title at $355.1bn, report says

Saudi Aramco remains the Middle East's top valuable brand and UAE's oil and gas company Adnoc fastest growing oil and gas brand in world, the Brand Finance Global 500 2022 report shows

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Apple retained its position as the world's most valuable brand at $355.1 billion, while oil and gas company Saudi Aramco remained the top brand in the Middle East while Abu Dhabi National National Oil Company (Adnoc) is the fastest growing oil and gas brand in the world, a report showed.

A total of seven companies from the region, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, were among the world's top 500 most valuable brands, a report by consultancy Brand Finance, which reviews the world's biggest brands annually, showed. It assesses their strength, quantifies their value, and ranks them across sectors and countries.

Saudi Aramco, whose brand value rose 16 per cent year-on-year to $43.6bn, ranked 31st among the world's top 500 brands by value, the Brand Finance Global 500 2022 report revealed on Wednesday.

Adnoc showed a 19 per cent jump in brand value growth to $12.8bn, the fastest among the top 10 oil and gas brands globally. It retained its position as the UAE's top most valuable brand and second regionally.

The company rose one notch to the ninth most valuable oil and gas brand globally, overtaking ExxonMobil, which now ranks 10th.

In the overall ranking of 500 global brands, Adnoc climbed to 160th from 163, the report shows.

“Adnoc is one of a handful of brands in the sector to see its Brand Strength Index [BSI] score rise by +2.0 points, evidenced by its stellar reputation and trust amongst international investors and stakeholders,” Brand Finance said.

“With an eye on the future, and in line with the UAE leadership’s 2050 net-zero strategy, Adnoc is also embracing the energy transition through several strategic initiatives.”

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, group chief executive of Adnoc and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, remains the top-ranked chief executive in the oil and gas sector in the Middle East in the Brand Guardianship index. He is the highest-ranked chief executive outside of the US and China-dominated index, where he ranks 15th overall.

“Aside from his role at Adnoc, [Dr Al Jaber] holds senior positions within the UAE government and is a key figure in promoting the diversification and growth of the UAE economy,” the report said.

Overall, the UAE punches well above its weight in the Brand Guardianship Index 2022. The chief executives of the three UAE brands from the Brand Finance Global 500 2022 ranking all feature and record higher scores than last year, with Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum of Emirates (34th) and Etisalat’s Hatem Dowidar (79th) joining Dr Al Jaber in the top 100.

Etisalat became as the Middle East and Africa’s strongest brand for the second consecutive year with a score of 89.2 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA rating.

Its BSI score rose by 1.8 points, breaking into the top 20 strongest brands globally at 18th place and becoming the top strongest telecoms brand globally. Etisalat's brand value increased to $10.1bn from $8.5bn, pushing it into the top 200 of the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking this year.

Saudi telecoms operator STC's brand value increased 16 per cent to $10.6bn, becoming the fastest-growing brand in the region during the pandemic due to its successful rebranding, continued investment and diversification.

The remaining three brands from the region are Qatar National Bank with a brand value of $7.1bn, Dubai-based Emirates airline at $5bn and petrochemicals company Sabic with $4.7bn, the report showed.

Globally, California-based Apple recorded a 35 per cent increase in brand value to $355.1bn – the highest brand value ever recorded in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking.

“Apple commands an amazing level of brand loyalty, largely thanks to its reputation for quality and innovation. Decades of hard work put into perfecting the brand have seen Apple become a cultural phenomenon, which allows it to not only compete, but thrive in a huge number of markets,” David Haigh, chairman and chief executive of Brand Finance, said.

Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Walmart rounded off the top five most valuable brands globally.

Amazon joined Apple in crossing the $300bn brand value mark with a 38 per cent increase to $350.3bn, while navigating global supply chain issues and a labour shortage. Google grew its brand value 38 per cent to $263.4bn.

TikTok became the world’s fastest-growing brand, leading a “global revolution in media consumption”, and tripling in brand value over the past year to $59bn. Claiming 18th spot among the world’s top 500 most valuable brands, it is the highest new entrant on the list.

“Media consumption has increased throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, but – what is more – the way we consume it has irrevocably changed,” Mr Haigh said. “TikTok’s meteoric growth is the proof in the pudding – the brand has gone from relative obscurity to internationally renowned in just a few years and shows no signs of slowing down.”

China’s WeChat remains the world’s strongest brand, retaining the title for the second consecutive year.

In terms of industries, tech remains the world's most valuable sector – unsurprising during the pandemic – with a cumulative value of $1.3 trillion. This is driven mainly by Apple, Microsoft and Samsung, which together account for more than 50 per cent of the sector's total brand value.

Retail overtook banking as the second most valuable sector as it crossed the $1tn mark for the first time, due to a boom in e-commerce during the pandemic, making it the fastest-growing large industry. Retail's brand value increased 46 per cent – outpacing the tech and media sectors which grew 42 per cent and 33 per cent respectively. However, Alibaba.com is the fastest-falling brand in the ranking across all sectors.

The pharma sector recorded the fastest growth among all industries due to the development of Covid-19 vaccines and tests during the pandemic. The number of pharma brands in the ranking has doubled from four to eight, with brand value increasing 94 per cent to $54bn.

All eight brands are more valuable now than in 2020, with Johnson & Johnson the most valuable. Vaccine maker AstraZeneca is the fastest growing at 77 per cent to $5.6bn, followed by Pfizer at 58 per cent to $6.3bn.

“The production of effective vaccines has been integral to getting the global economy back on its feet. This has resulted in not only an increase in revenue, but also improved global awareness and reputation for brands in the pharmaceutical industry,” Mr Haigh said.

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Tourism brands are recovering, as lockdowns ease and countries reopen their borders, but remain below 2020 brand values.

Hotel brands are experiencing the fastest growth in the industry due to staycations and business trips, the report said. Hilton is up 58 per cent to $12bn and Hyatt up 26 per cent to $5.9bn, more valuable now than pre-pandemic.

Airline brands all saw an increase in brand value as international and domestic travel increased, though none recovered to their pre-pandemic level yet.

“It is a promising sign to see recovery in the tourism sector despite intermittent restrictions still in place across the world. The bounce-back was no doubt hindered by variant outbreaks, however, as the world adjusts to living with Covid-19, there is no reason the tourism industry cannot take flight once again,” Mr Haigh said.

Among countries, the US and China increased their dominance, accounting for more than two thirds of brand value.

India became the fastest-growing large nation in the ranking over the course of the pandemic, up 42 per cent, ahead of the UK and South Korea.

Updated: January 26, 2022, 6:46 PM
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