Amazon beats Apple and Google to world’s most valuable brand ranking

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Amazon has overtaken Apple and Google to become the world’s most valuable brand, according to a new report from WPP and Kantar.

The 2019 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking was as ever dominated by technology, with five of the top 10 designated as tech providers. Amazon and Alibaba (#7) were designated in the retail space, while McDonald’s – whose recent purchase of personalisation software provider Dynamic Yield was well documented – Visa and AT&T completed the top 10.

Of those in the top 10, Google – last year’s victor – fell to #3, while Tencent dropped to #8 from fifth position in 2018 and McDonald’s fell a place to #9. Despite the latter’s drop, the report noted McDonald’s brand value had increase 3%. Amazon, by comparison, saw a 52% brand growth.

The biggest winners were Instagram, which climbed to #44 with a yearly growth of 95%, Netflix (65% growth, #34), and Uber (51% growth, #53).

The report noted how Chinese brands were beginning to make their presence felt. Of the nine newcomers in the ranking, many – including Xiaomi, Haier and Meituan – were from the Asian country. The report emphasised the importance of disruptive business models to making progress. Haier (#89), a provider of consumer electronics and home appliances, has ‘committed to co-creating an open ecosystem brand in the IoT era with its customers and partners’, as BrandZ puts it.

One example of how tech has conquered all is with the story of Coca-Cola. In 2013, Interbrand ranked Apple as the world’s most valuable brand, putting to an end 13 years of domination from the soft drinks behemoth. According to the 2019 BrandZ ranking, Coca-Cola sits at #14, a ranking unchanged from the previous year.

This is not to say everything is rosy in the garden for the biggest tech brands. The report noted how social media platforms in particular are facing continual challenges to retain trust and desirability; a more ‘volatile world…in which brands must continually anticipate evolving consumer needs and expectations.’ As far as Instagram is concerned, research from Rakuten Marketing in March found the social platform had toppled YouTube as the best place for influencer content. The report praised brands’ heeding of consumer interest and moving more towards ‘honest disclosure’ of partnerships.

“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,” said David Roth, chairman of BrandZ. “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,” Roth added. “Brands need to understand the value this type of model can create and should embrace its approach to be successful in the future.”

You can read the full report here (pdf).

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