Sweeping behavioral changes are still rattling the way brands build value, with Apple and Google sailing to new highs in Kantar's new BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands.
The combined value of the world's Top 100 most valuable brands jumped 23% to $8.7 trillion in the past year, underscoring the importance of brands in navigating tumultuous global markets.
"The real story is the strength of brands in helping companies navigate the disruption of this moment," says J. Walker Smith, knowledge lead at Kantar. "It's all about the strategic choices made by brands that have enjoyed the greatest growth. They've been taking actions to build trust with consumers and connect with consumers' values. They've pushed corporate purpose. And it's all added up to what consumers are looking for in this volatile moment."
Apple is on track to become Kantar's first trillion-dollar brand, moving back into first place this year with a valuation of $947.1 billion. Kantar says Apple stands out for its continued diversification in hardware, software and services.
Google, No. 2, saw its brand value rise an astonishing 79% this year to $819.6 billion, thanks to a suite of work and productivity apps that make it essential to people's daily lives.
Companies in media and entertainment, business solutions and technology providers and retail categories accounted for over half of the total value of the Top 100 ranking.
Smith tells Marketing Daily these are categories that benefited the most from changes in behavior over the last few years. "Getting people to try a new product is traditionally the biggest problem marketers have, but the pandemic forced people to try new things."
Consumers liked the novelty, from new ways of working to streaming services to ecommerce. But Smith says the data shows a continued resetting in many areas to pre-pandemic levels. “Analog things are coming back: travel, restaurants and bars, and to some extent, live events.”
Amazon came in third, falling from first place last year. Microsoft, Tencent, McDonald's, Visa, Facebook, Alibaba and Louis Vuitton rounded out the top 10.
Louis Vuitton, valued at $124.3 billion, marks the first time aluxury brand has made the Top 10 in the global index, showing the strength of luxury worldwide, especially in China. With a 64% growth in brand value this year, Vuitton is the first European brand to land in the Top 10 since 2010.
Nike leads the list as the most valuable apparel brand, Wells Fargo in banking and Tesla in automotive.
This is the 17th ranking compiled by Kantar. It analyzes financial data with extensive brand equity research. Since its launch in 1998, its study has included interviews with 4.1million consumers about 19,250 brands in more than 50 markets.