Google’s logo is reflected in a nearby building in Irvine, California. Picture: REUTERS
Google’s logo is reflected in a nearby building in Irvine, California. Picture: REUTERS

Technology brands dominate this year’s BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking – eight out of the top ten spots have been scooped by technology or technology-related firms. Google and Apple retained their positions in first and second place respectively for the second year running, while Amazon moved into third position, overtaking Microsoft, which is in fourth position. Tencent comes in fifth, up three places from last year’s rankings, ahead of Facebook, which is in sixth position.

Visa, McDonalds, Alibaba and AT&T make up the balance of the top 10 list, with Alibaba making the biggest jump in terms of brand value, growing its value by 92% from 2017.

The total brand value of BrandZ Top 100 grew by a staggering 21%, adding close to US$750bn to the ranking, which is now valued at $4.4 trillion. Tech brands account for more than half of the ranking’s total brand value.

Every category in the BrandZ Top 100 reported growth this year. 

For the first time, non-US brands grew faster than US ones. A total of 14 Chinese brands made the Top 100 ranking; the country’s top 10 brands grew by more than 47%, compared with US brands’ 23%.

The big take-out

The world’s most valuable brands are bold and adopt a long-term outlook towards brand building.

Among the key trends highlighted by this year’s ranking is that intelligence-led marketing such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality allows brands to revive, thrive and maintain their relevance to consumers. Amazon and Tencent, for example, are winning in the intelligence-led marketing era because they put the consumer at the heart of everything they do, points out Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ at Kantar Millward Brown. “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,” she says.

Other trends revealed by this ranking are that partnerships are proving pivotal as brands look for ways to maximise efficiency, and that leading brands continue to raise the bar on expectations for customer experience at every touch point by seeking strategic, long-term partnerships.

The Top 100 most Valuable Global Brands is an annual ranking produced by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.

The BrandZ top 10 most valuable global brands 2018