This week Amazon took the crown from Apple of being the world’s most valuable brand in the world, worth a staggering $315.5bn and are the first new company to claim the top spot in 12 years.
According to Kantar’s BrandZ ranking that they run every year, Amazon’s value grew by a staggering 52% between 2018 and 2019 while Apple and Google *only* grew by 3% (to $309.1bn) and 2% respectively.
Other large brands in the rankings include the obvious big hitters like Microsoft in fourth with a value of $251bn, Visa in fifth with $178bn and Alibaba in seventh with $131bn.
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.
So how have they done it? A 52% increase is a massive jump and this is likely down to Amazon’s increasing investments in a large array of industries outside what they would consider their main core model. This includes the likes of the drone technology that we wrote about recently as well as self-driving cars (a company called Aurora), electric vehicles (they have recently bought a company called Rivian who create electric trucks) and an expansion of Amazon Air; their flagship airline. Then there are forays into the pharmaceutical industry and they have even stretched their legs by leading a funding round into Deliveroo. They are not messing around.
David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and Chairman of BrandZ, says: “The growth in value of this year’s top 100 brands to an all-time high proves the power of investing in brands to deliver superior shareholder value. Behind this headline growth figure lies the success coming from a new phenomenon of ecosystem brand building. We’re seeing a move from individual product and service brands to a new era of highly-disruptive ecosystems. Brands need to understand the value this type of model can create and should embrace its approach to be successful in the future.”
The interesting aspect of the different areas that Amazon are growing into don’t just stop with big tech. With the announcement of the premier league fixture list yesterday, it became apparent that the entire Boxing Day schedule will only be available to live stream on Amazon Prime. An experiment that they have tried before; delving into live sports – the jury is still out on this. But accessing and securing one of the largest days in English football definitely shows that Amazon mean business and are unlikely to stop there if they see revenue value there.
What else has been going on?
Some of the other key trends highlighted in the BrandZ global study including technology, finance and retail are outgrowing and stand above all other brands; accounting for more than 2/3s of the total value of all brands. One of the fastest growing categories is Luxury; up 29% along interestingly with Retail which has grown 25%. This comes at a time when there are large, traditional retail brands going into administration as we see a supposed “death of the highstreet”.
This year there were nine new brands to appear in the top 100 which were driven by Chinese and US tech brands with disruptive growth models – showing that it definitely pays to be different. Especially if you want to break among the norm and change the perceptions of your business through the use of technology.