- Tech companies make up eight of the top 10 brands in the 2018 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking from WPP and Kantar Millward Brown, according to a news release made available to Marketing Dive. Overall, brands globally had their largest-ever annual jump in value with a 21% increase for a total of $750 billion.
- Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Tencent comprise the top five most valuable brands , in that order. Amazon moved into the no. 3 spot, which Microsoft held last year, by adding 49% in brand value over the past year compared to a 40% gain for Microsoft. Tencent beat out Facebook to take the no. 5 spot, with the former's value up 65% compared to 25% for the latter.
- For the first time, non-U.S. brands grew faster than U.S. brands, with 14 Chinese brands appearing on the list, compared to only one in 20016. The value of China’s top 10 companies grew 47% year-on-year; U.S. brands grew 23% overall. Chinese e-commerce company JD.com, ranked No. 59, was the fastest growing at 94%, followed by e-commerce giant Alibaba, ranked No. 9, growing 92%.
The brands gaining value are those that are embracing emerging technology, like artificial intelligence and augmented reality, to learn about their customers and offer personalized content, unique experiences and creative marketing, according to the report. Amazon falls under the "retail" category on the list, but the company has been steadily gaining ground by investing in artificial intelligence hardware like the Echo smart speaker — although Google is chasing hard on its heels in this space — and developing a strong, “multibillion-dollar” ad business.
Another takeaway from the report is the importance of strategic partnerships to provide valuable tech-driven consumer experiences, including trial, pick-up and delivery.
Three U.S-based companies made their first appearance on the list: telecom brand Spectrum at No. 27, Uber at No. 81 and Instagram at No. 91, underscoring how leveraging mobile can provide unique experiences and drive brand value.
While consumers are expecting brands to offer relevant, personalized content, marketers aren’t always meeting those expectations. Marketers should examine the personalization efforts of the top-ranking brands on the BrandZ list as they work to define their own strategies. Too often, consumers find personalization tactics creepy or irrelevant to them.
“Brands that are winning in the intelligence-led marketing era include businesses such as Amazon and Tencent who put the consumer at the heart of everything they do," Doreen Wang, Kantar Millward Brown’s global head of BrandZ, said in a statement. "These brands use technology to understand the needs of their consumers and apply these learnings to create an ecosystem of services that fulfill multiple needs, enabling a seamless consumer experience between platforms.”