With little sign of a slowdown in growth, Amazon has become the world’s most valuable brand, according to the 2019 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking released by WPP and Kantar at the New York Stock Exchange.
Amazon’s smart acquisitions – that have led to new revenue streams, excellent customer service provision and its ability to stay ahead of its competitors by offering a diverse eco-system of products and services – have allowed Amazon to continuously accelerate its brand value growth.
Rising in brand value by an impressive 52% year-on-year to $315.5 billion, Amazon moves ahead of Apple – at no.2, $309.5billion – and Google – at no.3, $309.0 billion – which both rose by a modest +3% and +2%, respectively.
In the Top 10, Facebook remained at no.6 while, for the first time, Alibaba overtook Tencent and became the most valuable Chinese brand, moving up two places to no.7 and growing +16% to $131.2 billion. Tencent dropped three places to no.8, declining by 27% to $130.9 billion year-on-year, in what BrandZ ascribes to a more volatile world; one in which brands must continually anticipate evolving consumer needs and expectations.
As other social media platforms face challenges in terms of trust and desirability, Instagram – at no.44, $28.2billion – now with over 1 billion users worldwide, emerged as this year’s fastest riser climbing 47 places with a massive +95% growth in brand value.
Yoga-inspired, athletic apparel brand lululemon athletica was the second fastest riser, stretching to +77% growth year-on-year to $6.92 billion.
Other top risers – such as Netflix (+65%, no. 34, $34.3billion), Amazon (+52%, $315.5 billion) and Uber (+51%, no.53, $24.2billion) – reflect the rapidly changing, technology-driven world in which consumers are placing more value on richer brand experiences.
“The growth in value of this year’s top 100 brands to an all-time high proves the power of investing in brands to deliver superior shareholder value. Behind this headline growth figure lies the success coming from a new phenomenon of ecosystem brand building. We’re seeing a move from individual product and service brands to a new era of highly-disruptive ecosystems. Brands need to understand the value this type of model can create and should embrace its approach to be successful in the future,” said David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and chairman of BrandZ.
Despite the economic uncertainty surrounding the US and China trade tariffs, almost a third of a trillion dollars, $328 billion, of value was added to the BrandZ Top 100 Global ranking over the last year, giving it a combined brand value of $4.7 trillion.
“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. 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. Disruptive ecosystem models are flourishing in regions such as Asia, where consumers are more technology-enabled and where brands are integrating themselves into every aspect of people’s daily lives,” added Doreen Wang, Kantar’s global head of BrandZ.
“The 7% growth in overall brand value of the BrandZ global 100 reaffirms our belief that brands continue to be at the heart of building strong businesses even in the most challenging times. Tech brands like Amazon, Apple & Google have shown the value of putting customers at the centre of everything they do by continuing to lead the rankings. These brands have used technology to deeply understand their consumer’s needs and deploy this knowledge to create an ecosystem of interrelated and seamless services which make the consumer’s life easy. The magic formula still remains the same, create a meaningfully different brand and amplify it well. However, the ingredients to success have in many ways become more complex with availability of greater amounts of data, manifold channels to speak to the consumer and increasingly diverse competition coming from all sides as technology lowers barriers to entry or in many cases changes the playing field altogether,” concluded Amol Ghate, CEO UAE, insights division, Kantar.
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