Brand value of world's top 100 companies surges 6% to $5tn, WPP says

Amazon, which saw its brand value grow 32% this year, topped the world’s most valuable brands list

Amazon was ranked the most valuable brand this year, growing its value 32 per cent year-on-year to $415.9bn. AP
Amazon was ranked the most valuable brand this year, growing its value 32 per cent year-on-year to $415.9bn. AP

The world’s top 100 most valuable brands saw their total value surge by 5.9 per cent year-on-year to $5 trillion (Dh18.4tn) this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report released on Tuesday.

Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are the top three most valuable global brands in a ranking of 100 companies compiled by WPP, the world's largest advertising company, and its data management division Kantar.

The top 100 most valuable brands have shown they are more “resilient and less volatile in the current crisis than they were during the global economic crisis of 2008-09”, WPP said.

“It is an unusual year and time as we release the ranking with so much uncertainty and flux caused by the Covid-19 pandemic … however, the results reassure us and reaffirm our belief that strong brands withstand economic pressures better and bounce back faster,” Amol Ghate, chief executive for Middle East insights division at Kantar.

The researchers evaluated these companies' stock price performance and other data for 12 months to April 7 to compile the rankings called 2020 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands.

Prior to the global pandemic, the total brand value of the top 100 brands was set to increase by 9 per cent annually but it was marginally affected by the outbreak, subsequently falling to 5.9 per cent.

Of the top 10 in this year’s ranking, nine companies were technology-related, demonstrating the importance of the sector in today’s data-driven world.

Overall, technology brands continued to dominate the ranking, representing over a third of brand value in the top 100 and growing overall by 10 per cent annually.

Amazon ranked as the most valuable brand for the second year running, growing its value 32 per cent year-on-year to $415.9bn. The company's value grew by almost $100bn this year and it accounts for a third of the top 100’s total growth.

The American e-commerce giant was followed by iPhone-manufacturer Apple that surged 14 per cent to $352.2bn.

Microsoft, which recently announced the closure of its physical retail stores globally, regained the third spot in the ranking as it jumped 30 per cent to $326.5bn, ahead of Google that climbed 5 per cent to $323.6bn.

Microsoft's brand value grew as a result of its cloud-enabled workplace ecosystem that incorporates Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, which allowed people to maintain “business as usual during the lockdown”, said WPP.

Most valuable global brands
Most valuable global brands

Other companies among the top 10 include Visa, Alibaba, Tencent, Facebook, McDonald’s and Mastercard.

“Innovation has proven to be a key driver for growth in this year’s top 100 and a way to prevent decline,” Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ at Kantar, said.

“Companies like Amazon, Apple and Google – the tech giants that keep on innovating – have successfully stayed relevant to consumers and made it easier for them to choose a brand.”

The retail sector also showed strong performance, growing 21 per cent, the fastest in brand value driven by the major e-commerce players.

Retail e-commerce brands Amazon, Alibaba and JD demonstrated innovation during the difficult times, along with more traditional retailers like Walmart, which has invested extensively in its e-commerce capabilities, the report said.

Against a backdrop of uncertainty, those companies that have consistently invested in longer-term marketing and in building strong brands have managed to stave off the worst of the crisis, it added.

“We are seeing that the pandemic has accelerated certain existing trends and brands that were aligned with these and drove them further are winning in the market by ensuring they stay meaningful to consumers,” Mr Ghate said.

Published: June 30, 2020 05:28 PM


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