US brands account for 56 of the top 100 brands, with Amazon and Apple leading the way, according to the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands 2021 ranking. Amazon maintained its position as the world’s most valuable brand, growing 64% to USD 684 billion.
Technology dominated the top end of the ranking, with seven of the top ten brands coming from the tech sector. China has consolidated its lead over Europe, with brands growing from 11% of the top 100 value in 2011 to 14%. In contrast, European brands represented 8% of the ranking’s value versus 20% in 2011.
Key highlights of the study include:
• Amazon entered the BrandZ ranking in 2006, growing its value by almost USD 268 billion in 2021, to become the first half-a-trillion-dollar brand, joined by Apple, valued at USD 612 billion
• Tesla became the most valuable car brand, growing its value by 275% year on year to USD 42.6 billion
• Five brands including Pinduoduo, Meituan, Moutai and TikTok from China, and Tesla from the USA more than doubled their brand values
• 69 brands and 13 new entrants including Zoom, Nvidia and AMD, and Spotify increased their value by at least 5% since 2020
• The Top 10 brands are today valued at USD 3.3 trillion, compared to USD 800 billion in 2011
• US brands grew fastest in 2021, accounting for 74% of the top 100’s total value
The study also stated that the apparel category's media and entertainment space was overtaken with value growth of 53%. Owing to this, brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma and Lululemon secured over 50% value growth.
Although the growth of fast fashion was stalled, brands like Uniqlo and H&M grew valuations over 88% and 47% respectively.
Nathalie Burdet, CMO, Kantar, said, “2020-1 has been a record year for brand growth, and despite many facing a difficult year, our research has again proven that strong brands deliver superior shareholder returns, are more resilient and recover more quickly. With global e-commerce growing from 12% to 15% of all sales in 2020, it has been a positive year for brands involved in that value chain – from the retailers through to the couriers like FedEx and UPS. However, we have also seen growth in industries where many were predicting challenges early in the pandemic. Apparel brands for example have collectively grown even more than media and entertainment brands in the ranking, and luxury brands, despite reduced travel and lockdowns globally, have refocused their energies and seen growth as a result.”
The top 20 retailers grew their brand value by a combined 48%. Chinese e-commerce brands too, showed strong growth, with Alibaba ranking seventh globally, consolidating its position as the second most valuable retail brand. The Home Depot saw 22% value growth, whereas Walmart grew its value by 30% and Lowe’s by 51%.
Of the new entrants, Zoom entered the ranking at 52 with a valuation of USD 36.9 billion.
Microsoft grew over 26%, Xbox over 55%, Disney over 13% and Netflix over 55%. Spotify entered the ranking following a 454% growth in subscribers from 2015-20, with a significant improvement in consumer brand equity.
Alcohol maintained its growth throughout the pandemic, fuelled by Chinese Baiju brands. The most valuable alcohol brand in the world is Moutai at USD 109.3 billion, which is four times the size of Budweiser, valued at USD 25.5 billion. Heineken was the fastest-growing beer brand growing at 16%, ranking 4th in alcohol ranking.
The luxury category saw 34% brand growth. L’Oréal Paris bucked the trend across beauty brands in the pandemic, securing brand growth by flexing its assets and driving female empowerment.
Burdet added, “This year’s results show that brand building remains critical to securing growth. We track the stock market performance of our strongest brands and have seen these recover twice as fast as other key indices. Our analytics have uncovered that 70% of what makes a brand successful is executing four fundamentals well: providing superior experience across consistently branded touchpoints, a range of well-designed and functional products and services, convenience, and exposure through great advertising. However, COVID-19 has emphasised consumer values such as trust and reliability. Those brands that are evolving their values, projecting leadership on these issues are demonstrating differentiation and standing out.”