The research shows how the increasingly powerful combo of data-driven technologies like AI and AR with creative marketing approaches has allowed many brands to build a more in-depth understanding of their customers and deliver convenience, personalized content and exceptional brand experiences.
Eight out of the Top 10 are technology or tech-related brands
This category continues to dominate the rankings, with Google and Apple retaining the number 1 and 2 spots, growing their brand values by +23% to $302.1 billion and by +28% to $300.6 billion respectively. Amazon moved into the no.3 position ahead of Microsoft, growing its value by +49% to $207.6 billion, while Tencent rose to no.5 ahead of Facebook (no.6) growing +65% in brand value to $179 billion, up three places from last year’s ranking.
“We’ve seen the biggest ever rise in brand value this year, driven by growth across all categories,” said WPP’s David Roth, in a news release. “Both new and established players have seen the payoff in being bold and adopting a long-term outlook towards brand-building. Those companies that invest in intelligence-led marketing and back their brands with the power of creativity and ideas will be the winners in today’s world of innovation, disruption and change.”
The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2018:
The complete list of Top 100 brands:
Despite economic and political uncertainty in many regions of the world, this year’s ranking shows its largest-ever annual increase in value—almost $750 billion (+21 percent). This gave the Top 100 an overall total brand value of $4.4 trillion; up 204 percent over 12 years since it was first published in 2006. This is also the first year that all categories in the BrandZ Top 100 reported growth.
This was the first year that non-U.S. brands grew faster than U.S. brands
Fourteen Chinese brands appear in the Top 100 ranking compared to just one (China Mobile) in 2006. The total value of China’s Top 10 grew year-on-year by +47 percent, more than double that of the U.S. brands (+23 percent). Other parts of the world, such as India and Indonesia, are also showing strong regional growth. The BrandZ Top 100 included seven Asian brands (excluding China), which grew +14% giving them a total brand value of $146 billion. Regional bank BCA (no.99) became the first Indonesian brand to enter the ranking, and newcomer Maruti Suzuki entered the Top 10 Car category for the first time.
Trailblazing Chinese brands dominate the Fastest Risers this year, with JD.com (no.59) leading the march following a staggering +94 percent rise in brand value bolstered by its entry into new categories such as finance. Alibaba (no.9) was second, entering the Top 10 for the first time this year with +92 percent growth, as it expanded its global reach and the success of Singles Day. The third fastest riser was Moutai (no.34) growing by +89 percent.
Key trends highlighted in this year’s study include:
- Intelligence-led marketing, such as AI and AR, allows brands to “revive and thrive” and maintain relevance to consumers.
- JD.com and HP reappeared on this year’s list, having both been in the Top 100 in 2016. U.S. telecoms giant Spectrum (no. 27) led the Newcomers to the rankings, with Uber (no.81) and Instagram (no.91). Last year’s fastest riser Adidas jumped into the ranking at 100. It was also the first time an Indonesian brand entered the Top 100 with regional bank BCA at no.99.
- Partnerships proved pivotal as brands sought ways to maximize efficiency. Leading brands continued to raise the bar on expectations for customer experience at every touch point-both online and offline-from trial to pick-up or delivery by seeking strategic, long-term partnerships.
- Retail demonstrated strong growth as the fastest rising category growing +35 percent in value over the last 12 months.
- Tech-related brands continue to dominate. In the “battle of the brands,” accounting for over half (+56 percent) of the Top 100’s brand value.
“Brands that are winning in the intelligence-led marketing era include businesses such as Amazon and Tencent who put the consumer at the heart of everything they do,” said Doreen Wang, Kantar Millward Brown’s Global Head of BrandZ, in the release. “These brands use technology to understand the needs of their consumers and apply these learnings to create an ecosystem of services that fulfil multiple needs, enabling a seamless consumer experience between platforms.”