- Amazon overtook Google and Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand, according to the BrandZ top 100 ranking of brands compiled by WPP’s research agency Kantar that was shared with Marketing Dive. The ecommerce giant's No. 1 ranking marks the first time that Apple and Google haven't been in the top spot in the past 12 years.
- Amazon's brand value last year surged 52% to reach $315.5 billion, surpassing Apple’s 3% advance to $309.5 billion and Google’s 2% rise to $309 billion. Kantar attributed Amazon's jump in brand value to its push into a variety of services worldwide, CNBC reported.
- Instagram saw the biggest yearly jump in brand value, almost doubling to $28.2 billion, followed by growth for Netflix, Salesforce, Adobe, Amazon, Uber and LinkedIn. Among industry categories, luxury grew the most with a 29% gain for brands including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès and Gucci. Kantar's BrandZ ranking is based on financial data and the opinions of about 4 million consumers in 51 countries worldwide.
Amazon's rise to the world's most valuable brand reflects its expansion from the "everything store" into consumer technology, movie production and video streaming. The ecommerce giant has a reputation for disrupting almost every industry it targets for investment and growth, and has pushed the retail industry to radically reconfigure the way it serves customers. Without Amazon, it's hard to imagine that discount chains like Walmart and Target would voluntarily push into one-day delivery of thousands of products, for example.
Notably, Amazon is now disrupting the digital advertising business by selling a variety of ad products to brands that want to reach consumers when they're most ready to make a purchase. For many consumers, Amazon has supplanted search engines like Google in seeking information about products they're ready to buy. Amazon last fall became the number three digital ad platform behind Google and Facebook.
For Facebook, which saw its brand value decrease by 2%, the rapid growth of Instagram's brand value shows a way forward for the embattled company. Instagram Stories growth has helped buoy ad revenue, as users abandon the company's flagship platform, which faces a record fine following several data privacy scandals.
The report also confirms the growth of Netflix, the fastest-growing brand of 2019 in the U.S., according to a report by independent brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance. The streaming platform saw its brand value grow 105% over the past year to $21.2 billion, benefitting from the cord-cutting trend that has seen consumers move away from traditional TV.
While the BrandZ study considers Amazon as a retailer, tech companies dominate its ranking of most valuable brands. Tech companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft hold 23 spots in the top 100, ahead of global and regional banks (15 brands), telecom companies (10 brands) and retailers (9 brands), among others. The favorable view of tech companies by consumers may help immunize them from possible antitrust scrutiny. Press reports say that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google face potential U.S. investigations into their market dominance as lawmakers and regulators play catchup with the European Union's stricter policies against abusive business practices.