In today’s fast-moving, consumer-centric brand landscape, it takes a unique convergence of elements to generate substantial growth, especially for the largest brands in the world. According to findings from brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance, this year’s leader doubled in brand value over the past year, growing faster than any other brand in the U.S.—while many retail brands, including Walmart, face stagnation amid changing customer preferences. What’s the secret?
And the winner is…
Netflix is the fastest-growing brand of 2019, according to the latest report on the most valuable brands of the U.S. With brand value growing by a whopping 105 percent over the past year to $21.2 billion, Netflix is set to play the lead role in home entertainment, building a disruptive business as a universally accessible narrowcaster, and effectively challenging traditional broadcasting brands.
“Netflix delivers high-quality and varied programming to anyone with internet access and a credit card. The platform has embarked on a disruptive approach to media services and now has incumbents in the market looking over their shoulder,” said Alex Haigh, valuation director at Brand Finance, in a news release.
Other high rankers
With the media industry feeling the effects of tech disruption, another rapidly growing digital media brand is YouTube (up 46 percent to $37.8 billion) this year jumping ten spots to 13th nationally. Like Netflix, YouTube is building a broad platform for video content, in an effort to leverage its brand from merely peer-to-peer video creation and sharing to also include a growing premium and professional video library.
Among traditional media brands and performing considerably better than its peers, Disney enters the top 10 nationally on the back of its M&A activity and diversified product strategy. Fresh off the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the Disney brand jumps 40 percent in brand value to $45.7 billion.
Holding onto the prime spot, Amazon features once again as the most valuable brand in the U.S., growing nearly 25 percent to an impressive $187.9 billion.
Traditional tech giants, Apple (2nd, $153.6 billion) and Google (3rd, $142.8 billion) remain entrenched in their positions, after a year of scrutiny that has led to questions about the sector having reached a saturation point. With a 47 percent increase in brand value to $119.6 billion, Microsoft moves into 4th position and is the fastest-growing brand among the top 10 most valuable, after the company’s successful turn towards a cloud-centric business model. With all eyes turned to 5G, AT&T drops down a spot to 5thposition, after a modest 6 percent brand value increase over past 12 months to $87.0 billion.
Aside from calculating brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands using a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.
Though Facebook holds onto its spot as the 6th most valuable brand in the Brand Finance U.S. 500 2019, its brand strength suffered the second worst decline among the top 100 brands, resulting in a brand rating downgrade from AAA+ to AAA- after a year of privacy issues that have landed the company in the hot seat.
Professional services firm Deloitte tells a different story as the year’s strongest brand, boasting a BSI (Brand Strength Index) score of 91.2 out of 100 and an elite AAA+ rating.
Behind tech, dominating the Brand Finance U.S. 500 ranking as the largest industry with a combined brand value of over $1 trillion, the retail sector comes in second with $340.5 billion. Eighth-ranked Walmart (up 10 percent to $67.9 billion) is the nation’s most valuable brick-and-mortar retail brand, as it continues to push the boundaries of its physical store and logistics network. Home Depot (up 39 percent to $47.1 billion) jumped from 11th to 9th rank overall while its rival Lowe’s saw its brand value go up 49 percent to $23.9 billion.
“This year, Amazon’s brand is worth approximately half of the combined value of the 42 retail brands in the ranking. The retail industry is another sector at a crossroads as tech giants and online sellers encroach upon the traditional business model with a completely new proposition. Legacy retailers will need brand revolutions to match the needs of modern consumers,” Haigh concluded.