Amazon has overtaken Google and Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand at $315.5 billion, according to a ranking of global companies, up 52% on last year.
Apple comes second, valued at $309.5 billion, with Google in third place, at $309 billion, according to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking 2019, compiled by WPP research agency Kantar and released Tuesday.
Google and Apple had spent a combined 12 years at the top of the list, with Google taking the top spot in 2018.
Doreen Wang, Kantar’s global head of BrandZ, said Amazon’s jump was due to it selling a variety of services. “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,” she said in a statement emailed to CNBC.
Amazon has been increasing investments in a range of companies as its core business slows, including self-driving car start-up Aurora and electric truck company Rivian, as well as expanding Amazon Air, its airplane business. It bought online pharmacy PillPack for $753 million in 2018 and last month led a $575 million funding round into food delivery company Deliveroo.
Four of the BrandZ top ten were made up of more traditional brands including Visa, McDonald’s and AT&T. Microsoft comes in at fourth place, as it did in 2018.
Technology companies have always dominated the ranking, with Microsoft taking the top spot when BrandZ began in 2006. This year, Alibaba (valued at $131.2 billion) overtook Tencent ($130.9 billion) to become the most valuable Chinese brand. There is a total of 15 Chinese brands in the list of 100 companies, including mobile handset company Xiaomi (valued at $19.8 billion) and Meituan ($18.8 billion), a tech platform people can use to order food deliveries, book hotel rooms and arrange bike rentals.
David Roth, chair of BrandZ, said the companies that did well were those that mastered this new model of different services. “Brands need to understand the value this type of model can create and should embrace its approach to be successful in the future,” he said in an emailed statement.
Tech, finance and retail brands dominate the overall ranking, making up more than two-thirds of its value, while luxury is the fastest-growing category.
To qualify for the ranking, brands must be publicly traded, or publish their financial results. BrandZ’s list combines measures of brand equity based on interviews with more than 3 million consumers about thousands of brands, with analysis of each company’s business and financial performance, using data from Kantar Worldpanel.
The world’s most valuable brands 2019
- Amazon $315.5 billion
- Apple $309.5 billion
- Google $309 billion
- Microsoft $251.2 billion
- Visa $177.9 billion
- Facebook $159 billion
- Alibaba $131.2 billion
- Tencent $130.9 billion
- McDonald’s $130.4 billion
- AT&T $108.4 billion