BrandZ: Amazon retains tops spot as most valuable global brand

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BrandZ: Amazon retains tops spot as most valuable global brand

By Marianne Wilson - 04/30/2020
amazon delivery person

The strong get stronger, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon once again ranks as the world’ most valuable global brand, followed by Alibaba and McDonald’s, according to the annual BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands Ranking, unveiled by WPP and Kantar. (The top 10 most valuable brands are listed at the end of article.)

Commissioned by WPP and Kantar, the ranking combines analysis of retailers' financial performance with the opinions of some four million consumers surveyed in more than 51 markets around the world. BrandZ said its historical data shows that brands with the strongest brand equity recovered nine times faster following the financial crisis of 2008. The report provides an indication of the brands that are most likely to prevail in a post-coronavirus market and uses valuations data incorporating stock price performance from April 2020 to reflect the impact of COVID-19.

“While this [the coronavirus crisis] is a fast-moving and ongoing story, the report allows us to show the businesses that, having invested in becoming a strong brand, are potentially better able to withstand the current shock,” said David Roth, chairman of BrandZ and CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia. “Twenty-two years of BrandZ data analysis consistently confirms that strong brands help their businesses to survive turbulent times.”

Highlights in this year's BrandZ Retail ranking include the following.
•    The strongest got stronger: The Top 10 brands in the ranking outpaced the rest of the sector, posting an average rise in brand value of 16.4%. Amazon's growth sees it account for 27% of the Top 75's total brand value while robust performances by other Top 10 brands such as Alibaba show that strong brands can do more than get by — they can also  redefine what is possible. 

•    Sector leaders continued to dominate: McDonald's (No. 3, $129.3 billion) is by far the most valuable fast food brand in the world, although others enjoyed rapid growth, thanks largely to delivery and other service innovations such as AI-powered suggestions at drive-throughs and delivery partnerships behind incremental orders. Louis Vuitton is the most valuable luxury brand, with a new global flagship store in Seoul and creative partnerships with major artists while Nike (No. 6, $50.0 billion) leads the apparel category with e-commerce, product customization and collaborations driving strong sales. 

The fastest riser category is dominated by pure retail as grocery outlets see a boom in demand as people stock up. Unsurprisingly, the digital-native brands scored highly – Amazon, JD and Alibaba were up 32%, 24% and 16% respectively – but physical retail veterans also showed their ability to adapt to an online-only environment. Costco (No. 11 $28.7 billion) grew 35%, Target (No. 23, $10.6 billion) was up 27%, Walmart (No. 8, $45.8 billion) increased 24% and Sam's Club (No. 36, $6.8 billion) rose 19%.

Five new entrants: Three Japanese brands make their debut in this year's ranking; online fashion store Zozotown(No. 52, $4.5 billion), retail network Aeon (No. 64, $2.9 billion), and convenience story company Family Mart (No. 75, $2.4 billion). China's e-commerce platform Pinduoduo (No. 26, $9.4 billion) is the highest new entry, following the success of its online group-buying model; Bunnings hardware chain from Australia (No. 69, $2.7 billion) is the fourth new entry.

The reported noted that smart retailers are resisting the temptation to cut back on advertising investment, learning lessons from China where brands that 'went dark' are struggling to reconnect during the early stages of recovery as consumers opt for those that actively demonstrated support. Marketing is being adapted as people are confined to staying indoors, with tone of voice being as important as the media mix.

The Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands was due to be launched at the 2020 World Retail Congress (WRC), originally scheduled for April 28. It has been rescheduled to October 28-30.

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Retail Brands 2020 are listed below.

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