- Apple kept its spot atop Interbrand's annual ranking of the best global brands with a brand value that rose 38% to $333 billion, according to details the consulting firm emailed to Marketing Dive. Amazon's brand value surged 60% — the largest increase in value — to more than $200 billion, putting the e-commerce company in second place. Google dropped from the top three for the first time since 2012, landing in fourth place, and replaced by Microsoft in third place. Electronics maker Samsung appeared in the top five for the first time.
- Brands outside the technology industry tended to lose value, including those in the top 10. Coca-Cola, one of the most recognized brands in the world, saw its value fall 10% to $56.9 billion to rank at No. 6, while Toyota's value slid 8% to $51.6 billion and a No. 6 ranking. Rounding out the top 10 were No. 8 Mercedes (-3% to $49.3 billion), No. 9 McDonald's (-6% to $42.8 billion) and No. 10 Disney (-8% to $40.8 billion).
- Amazon, Spotify and Netflix are among the brands whose value increased the most in the past year, as the pandemic led consumers to spend more time with digital content. The company ranks brand value based on several criteria including financial performance and competitive strength.
The surge in value of technology brands reflected on Interbrand's "2020 Best Global Brands" report is a direct result of their importance among consumers who have relied on electronic devices and digital services while stuck at home during pandemic lockdowns. With the surging values for Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, technology companies make up 48% of the total value of the top 100. Ten years ago, technology companies made up only 17% of the top 100.
The focus on digital provided an opportunity for some brands to make their way onto the list. Brands debuting this year include Instagram, which was the highest-ranked newcomer with a No. 19 ranking and a brand value of $26 billion, ahead of Google's video-sharing platform YouTube, which appeared at No. 30 with a value of $17.3 billion, and videoconferencing startup Zoom, which debuted at No. 100.
However, not every tech company saw gains, as seen with Intel's 8% slide to $37 billion (No. 12), Facebook's 12% slump to $35.2 billion (No. 13) and IBM's 14% drop to $34.9 billion (No. 14).
The ranking highlights a few key trends this year and which brands are benefiting the most from them. As more consumers spent time at home consuming digital media, the value of streaming companies rose. Spotify's value jumped 52% to $8.4 billion for No. 70 ranking, while Netflix surged 41% to $12.7 billion and a No. 31 ranking. Their subscription revenue has helped them to buffet a decline in advertising spending, according to Interbrand.
While the change in consumer habits helped those companies, retailers experienced negative effects from the pandemic. Fast fashion retailer Zara's value fell 13% to $14.9 billion (No. 35), while H&M slumped by 14% to $14 billion (No. 37). Ikea kept its place as the top retail brand with a 3% gain to $18.9 billion (No. 25).
Leadership, engagement and relevance are three themes that emerged for brands that have gained valued during the pandemic, qualities that helped them pivot during a quickly changing landscape and could position them for continued strength once the health crisis starts to recede, per the report.