The world’s most valuable brands are …

Marianne Wilson

Technology companies, led by a U.S. digital commerce giant, dominated an annual ranking of the world's most valuable brands.

Amazon maintained its position as the world's most valuable brand, according to the 2020 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking compiled by Kantar and WPP. The online giant’s brand value jumped 32% this year to $415.9 billion and accounts for a third of the Top 100's total growth.  

Apple held on to the second spot as its brand value rose 14% to $352 billion. Microsoft  came in third, at $326.5 billion, followed by Google, at $$323.6 billion, and Visa, at $186.8 billion. (The top 10 brands are listed at end of article.)

The total brand value of the Top 100 global brands reached $5 trillion, equivalent to the annual GDP of Japan. It has increased by 245% since 2006, when the total brand value first reached $1 trillion.  U.S brands represented more than half of the Top 100 brands. Asian brands represented a quarter of the Top 100 brands, with 17 from China (including Alibaba and Tencent in the Top 10) and two from Japan (Toyota and NTT). 

The retail sector gave a strong performance, growing the fastest (21%) in brand value driven by the major e-commerce players. Workout apparel retailer, whose brand value rose 40% to $9.7 billion, was one of the fastest risers as it expands its focus to include work-appropriate clothing and online fitness classes for people at home.

Other highlights in this year's BrandZ Global Top 100 study include:
•    MasterCard entered the Top 10 for the first time this year, due to strong financial performance, supported by growing brand equity especially in engaging consumers: successfully fitting into the 'ecosystem' of their everyday lives and gaining a close emotional connection through its purposeful positioning.

•    Five new entrants appeared in the Top 100, led by Chinese entertainment brand TikTok, followed by UnitedHealthcare (no. 86), Bank of China (no. 97), Lancôme (no. 98) and Pepsi (no. 99).

•    TikTok — the popular short-video-sharing social network, owned by Chinese entertainment company ByteDance — was the highest new entry this year, taking the no. 79 spot. Its brand value was $16.9 billion. 

“TikTok’s achievement indicates the power of a brand that quickly grew from popularity in China into a worldwide phenomenon, and it reflects the growth of mobile entertainment,” said Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ.

Now in its 15th year and commissioned by WPP, the valuation behind the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands was conducted by brand equity research experts Kantar. The ranking combines rigorously analyzed market data from Bloomberg with extensive consumer insights from over 3.8 million consumers around the world, covering over 17,500-plus different brands in 51 markets. This year, it used valuations data incorporating stock price performance from April 2020 to reflect the impact of COVID-19. 

Here are BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2020:

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