After a long 12-year reign, Apple is no longer the world’s most valuable brand, according to the 2019 BrandZ TM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking released today by WPP and Kantar at the New York Stock Exchange.

That honour now goes to Amazon, who rose in brand value by an impressive 52% year-on-year to $315.5 billion. Amazon moves ahead of Apple (no.2, $309.5 billion) and Google (no.3, $309.0 billion) which both rose by a modest +3% and +2% respectively, to end the technology giants’ 12-year dominance. Amazon’s smart acquisitions, that have led to new revenue streams, excellent customer service provision and its ability to stay ahead of its competitors by offering a diverse eco-system of products and services, have allowed Amazon to continuously accelerate its brand value growth.

Another strong grower is Microsoft, who grew its brand value by 25% to $251,244 billion. If the company maintains its growth rate it may overtake both Apple and Google next year.

In the Top 10, Facebook remained at no.6 while, for the first time, Alibaba overtook Tencent and became the most valuable Chinese brand, moving up two places to no.7 and growing +16% to $131.2 billion. Tencent dropped three places to no.8, declining by 27% to $130.9 billion year-on-year, in what BrandZ ascribes to a more volatile world; one in which brands must continually anticipate evolving consumer needs and expectations.

“The growth in value of this year’s top 100 brands to an all-time high proves the power of investing in brands to deliver superior shareholder value. Behind this headline growth figure lies the success coming from a new phenomenon of ecosystem brand building,” said David Roth, chief executive officer of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and Chairman of BrandZ. “We’re seeing a move from individual product and service brands to a new era of highly-disruptive ecosystems. Brands need to understand the value this type of model can create and should embrace its approach to be successful in the future.”

“Amazon’s phenomenal brand value growth of almost $108 billion in the last year demonstrates how brands are now less anchored to individual categories and regions. The boundaries are blurring as technology fluency allow brands, such as Amazon, Google and Alibaba, to offer a range of services across multiple consumer touchpoints,” said Doreen Wang, Kantar’s Global Head of BrandZ. “Using their consumer experience and expertise, these brands are crossing over into the business services sector, creating new opportunities for brand growth. Disruptive ecosystem models are flourishing in regions such as Asia, where consumers are more technology-enabled and where brands are integrating themselves into every aspect of people’s daily lives.”

China and US trade wars affected the growth of the Top 100 ranking, which slowed to +7% over the last 12 months. Consumer confidence was hit as the trade tariffs impacted several brand categories with Cars, Logistics and Banks suffering most. More on the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report and rankings, and a great deal more brand insight for key regions of the world and 14 market sectors can be read here.

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