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Apple reclaims world’s most valuable brand title

Anadolu Agency ECONOMY
Published January 26,2021

Apple has reclaimed the title of the world's most valuable brand for the first time since 2016, thanks to its diversification strategy making the company expanding into digital and subscription services beyond iPhone, said an independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy on Tuesday.

The company has overtaken Amazon and Google as its brand value rose 87% to $263.4 billion, the Brand Finance said in this year's Global 500 report. 

"Under Tim Cook's leadership, especially over the past five years, Apple began to focus on developing its growth strategies above and beyond the iPhone-which in 2020 accounted for half of sales versus two-thirds in 2015," the report noted.

Retail giant Amazon followed with a healthy 15% brand value growth to $254.2 billion, it said, underlining that the company benefitted considerably from the pandemic due to unprecedented surge in demand as consumers turned online following store closures.

Google sat in the third spot following a marginal 1% uplift in brand value to $191.2 billion. The company recorded its first ever revenue decline due to the pandemic, the report noted.

Software provider Microsoft was ranked fourth, rising its brand value by 20% to $140.4 billion.

Ranking first in Asian region and fifth overall in terms of brand value for the third year running, Samsung increased its value by 9% to US$102.6 billion with the backing of new innovations and business practices.

The report highlighted that e-commerce platforms experienced the highest revenue growth since 2016 in the second and third quarters of last year.

The brand value of doubled to $39.2 billion, the second-fastest growing brand in the ranking.

Tesla left traditional auto marques behind with fastest brand value growth in ranking, up 158%, the report noted.

It also revealed that media conglomerate CBS was the fastest falling brand in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking this year. The network's brand value has dropped by 49% to $5.9 billion following a fall in advertising revenue and a disastrous merger with Viacom.

Grounded by COVID-19, aerospace and airline brands account for six out of the 10 fastest-falling brands in this year's report, including Boeing (down 40% to $13.6 billion), American Airlines (down 40% to $5.3 billion), United Airlines (down 39% to $5.0 billion), Delta (down 38% to $5.8 billion), Airbus (down 36% to $9.1 billion), and Safran (down 32% to $4.3 billion).

Again as a result of virus-related restrictions, hospitality sector was among most suffered as Marriott and Airbnb check out from ranking, while Starbucks, McDonald's, and KFC see brand values drop.

As users turned to online means of entertainment in the wake of the pandemic, Netflix enjoyed a spike in usage, causing its brand value to increase by 9% to $24.9 billion. With 37 million new users by the end of 2020, Netflix's success has driven improved revenue forecasts and brand equity scores.

Meanwhile, Chinese mobile app WeChat has overtaken Ferrari to become the world's strongest brand with a Brand Strength Index score of 95.4 out of 100.

WeChat's brand value also enjoyed a rapid boost, increasing by 25% to $67.9 billion and jumping nine spots on the ranking to enter the top 10 for the first time.