The Most Valuable Brands In The World: Tech Dominates and Brands Get Younger


Here are some key takeaways from this excellent brand study from Kantar Millward Brown:

  • Only three brands that appeared in the Global Top 10 in 2006—Google, Microsoft, and IBM—remain in the Top 10 in 2017.
  • Google is #1 for a second year in a row.
  • The average age of a Top 10 brand in 2017 is 42 (started in 1975). That is less than half the average age of a Top 10 brand in 2006, which was 88 (started in 1929).
  • Amazon achieved the highest dollar value growth of all brands, increasing by $40.3 billion (+41%) to $139.3bn to take the #4 position.
  • Retail was the fastest rising category, increasing +14% driven by Amazon (and Alibaba).
  • The value growth of pure online retailers has increased +388% since 2006, while traditional retailers dropped -23%.
  • Adidas leads in Top Risers, up 58% in value year-on-year.
  • Moutai, the Chinese white alcohol, was the #2 Top Riser, increasing by 48%.
  • The number of brands worth more than $100bn increased from six to nine.
  • The Top 10 in 2017 are worth almost as much as the entire Top 100 in 2006 ($1.42tn vs $1.44tn).
  • Heritage brands are being surpassed by emerging brands, affecting almost every category, from luxury to spirits to auto. What consumers want, what they value, and where they choose to spend their dollars have all evolved.
  • The balance of power has tipped towards consumer-focused technology brands that develop ecosystems that cater to many needs, simplifying an increasingly complex world.
  • More than half of the Top 100’s total brand value is contributed by technology-related brands (includes telcoms and online retailers), up from a third in 2006, and these have grown +16% in the last year compared with +4% for non-tech brands.
  • All seven of the newcomers to the Top 100 are technology-related brands: XFinity, YouTube, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Salesforce, Netflix, Snapchat and Sprint.

Read on below for more, including two of their findings with which I disagree.

There are two aspects of this study with which I disagree:

  • First, their assessment on retail. To suggest that it is a booming category because Amazon is doing well is misleading.
  • Second, their suggestion that in order to succeed, companies must adopt a do-good strategy. I see no evidence that a “do-good” strategy is the driver of the success of any of the top 10 brands (or that they even have a “do-good” strategy in place).

And finally, this report must really burn up Warren Buffett who addressed how badly he had missed the boat on tech (especially Google and Amazon) at this year’s Berkshire Hathaway meeting. I love the man but it’s not new news that junk food is out and tech is in.

Highly recommend checking out the full 156-page report by Kantar Millward Brown/Brand Z. Link here.

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