The world’s most valuable brands have seen their total brand value increase by 5.9% despite the economic, social and personal impacts of COVID-19, according to the 2020 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking released by WPP and Kantar. The total brand value of the Top 100 global brands reached $5 trillion.
Amazon maintained its position as the world’s most valuable brand, growing 32% to $415.9 billion. Apple maintained its position as the second most valuable global brand (+14%, $352.2 billion), while Microsoft regained the third position (+30%, $326.5 billion) ahead of Google (+5%, $323.6 billion) at number four.
The retail sector showed strong performance, growing the fastest (21%) in brand value driven by the major e-commerce players. Retail e-commerce brands Amazon, Alibaba and JD.com demonstrated innovation and agility during difficult times, along with more traditional retailers like Walmart (+24%, no. 27, $45.8 billion), which has invested in its e-commerce capabilities.
Brands have also found new and creative ways to engage with consumers, build trust and create a level of intimacy, particularly in health and wellness. Athleisure brand lululemon (+40%, $9.7 billion) was one of the fastest risers, having shifted its focus from yoga-inspired wear to work-appropriate clothing, as well as offering online classes for people at home.
“Innovation has proven to be a key driver for growth in this year’s Top 100, and a way to prevent decline. Creativity is also an important trait for the world’s most valuable brands. Companies like Amazon, Apple and Google – the tech giants that keep on innovating – successfully combine both to continue being relevant to consumers’ lives and making it easier for them to choose a brand,” said Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ at Kantar.
“It is an unusual year and time as we release the Global BrandZ 2020 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,” added Amol Ghate, CEO Middle East, insights division at Kantar. “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. These brands have enabled people to navigate life better and helped them achieve convenience and comfort in these tough times. They have also done well in balancing the online-offline dynamics of modern life that became even more accentuated during the pandemic.”