From its humble beginnings as an online bookstore, Amazon has beaten out Apple and Google, with the e-commerce giant’s brand value increasing by 42% year on year to a whopping $150 billion, according to Brand Finance.
With a brand strength index score of 92.3, up from 91.3 last year, Disney is the world’s strongest brand and one of the most interesting to watch in the coming years, according to the valuation and strategy consultancy. In light of its recent purchase of a majority stake in 21st Century Fox, Disney can further develop its brand to deliver for more consumers worldwide.
As for Amazon, it is no longer just an online retailer, but also a provider of cloud infrastructure and a producer of electronics. The company is moving beyond the digital space, as last year’s takeover of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion gave the brand a foothold in the realm of bricks and mortar.
“Jeff Bezos once said that ‘brands are more important online than they are in the physical world,’” says David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance. “He has proved himself right by choosing the name Amazon, known as the largest, most powerful river in the world, as 23 years later the Amazon brand carries all before it as an unstoppable force.”
Although Apple defended second place in the ranking, with brand value rebounding to $146.3 billion after the 27% decline last year, its future looks bleak, according to Brand Finance. Apple has failed to diversify and grown over-dependent on sales of its flagship iPhones.
Google has dropped from first to third position, recording a relatively slow brand value growth of 10% to $120.9 billion. Google’s online ads generated more traffic than expected as aggregated paid clicks rose by 47% in Q3 2017, boosting revenues. However, to compete with the world’s most valuable brands, presenting a solid performance is not always enough.
The brand is a champion in internet search, cloud and mobile OS technology but, similarly to Apple, its focus on particular sectors is holding it back from unleashing the full potential of its brand, according to Brand Finance.
For the first time since the inception of the Brand Finance Global 500 study, technology brands claim all top five places in the league table.
Samsung, fourth with $92.3 billion and Facebook fifth with $89.7 billion, both recorded impressive year-on-year brand value growth of 39% and 45% respectively, overtaking AT&T (sixth, $82.4 billion). the scale and audacity demonstrated by Amazon’s new ventures.
The dominance of digital is set to grow even more in the coming years as other brands make their way up the Global 500, the research company predicts.