Tech and content drive record rise in most valuable brands

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Bingeing on Netflix boxsets, sharing stories on Facebook and downloading content from Apple’s iTunes and Alibaba’s Ali Picture have contributed to a record year of brand value growth in the 2018 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking released today by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.

The increasing use of data-driven, intelligence-led technologies – such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) – alongside creative marketing approaches has allowed many brands to build a more in-depth understanding of their customers and deliver convenience, personalised content and exceptional brand experiences.  Eight out of the Top 10 are technology or tech-related brands. This category continues to dominate the rankings with Google and Apple retaining the number 1 and 2 spots, growing +23 per cent to $302.1 billion and +28 per cent to $300.6 billion respectively. Amazon moved into the no.3 position ahead of Microsoft, growing +49 per cent to $207.6 billion, while Tencent rose to no.5 ahead of Facebook (no.6) growing +65 per cent in brand value to $179 billion, up three places from last year’s ranking.

David Roth, WPP, said: “We’ve seen the biggest ever rise in brand value this year, driven by growth across all categories. Both new and established players have seen the payoff in being bold and adopting a long-term outlook towards brand-building.  “WPP’s own focus is on providing innovative approaches for our clients that combine data and technology with world-class creativity. Those companies that invest in intelligence-led marketing and back their brands with the power of creativity and ideas will be the winners in today’s world of innovation, disruption and change.”

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2018:

1. Google (+23 per cent)
2. Apple (+28 per cent)
3. Amazon (+49 per cent)
4. Microsoft (+40 per cent)
5. Tencent (+65 per cent)
6. Facebook (+25 per cent)
7. Visa (+31 per cent)
8. McDonald’s (29 per cent)
9. Ali Baba (92 per cent)
10. AT&T (7 per cent)

Despite economic and political uncertainty in many regions of the world, this year’s ranking shows its largest-ever annual increase in value – almost $750 billion (+21 per cent). This gave the BrandZ Global Top 100 an overall total brand value of $4.4 trillion; up 204 per cent over 12 years since it was first published in 2006. This is also the first year that all categories in the BrandZ Top 100 reported growth.

Doreen Wang, Kantar Millward Brown’s Global Head of BrandZ, comments: “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. These brands use technology to understand the needs of their consumers and apply these learnings to create an ecosystem of services that fulfil multiple needs, enabling a seamless consumer experience between platforms.”


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