A good brand can take years to develop, and it can also be ruined in a moment. The most valuable brands in the world are global corporate giants. They generate billions in annual profit, hold enormous influence over public opinion and are recognizable around the world. Here’s what the top 100 most valuable brands in the world look like.
- North America, Europe and Asia dominate the list of top 100 brands in the world. Saudi Aramco ($47B) is the only company from another continent to make the ranking.
- 4 companies have a brand valuation more than $100B, and 3 are in technology (if we count Amazon as a retail company).
- While most companies saw the value of their brands increase last year, some like McDonald’s saw it decline ($44B in 2019 vs. $37B in 2020).
- There are lots of industries in the top 100 beyond tech, like media companies ($328B), auto manufacturers ($370B) and banks ($454B).
We found the data for brand values at Brand Finance. Analysts took into account a variety of different measures of brand strength, including investments into marketing, stakeholder equity and their contributions to financial performance. We accordingly created a bubble for the value of each company’s brand in the top 100, grouping each by both industry and geographic location. The result is a fascinating kaleidoscopic view of the world’s most well-known brands.
Top 10 Most Valuable Brands in the World in 2020
1. Amazon: $221B (Retail)
2. Google: $160B (Tech)
3. Apple: $141B (Tech)
4. Microsoft: $117B (Tech)
5. Samsung Group: $94B (Tech)
6. ICBC: $81B (Banking)
7. Facebook: $80B (Media)
8. Walmart: $78B (Retail)
9. Ping An: $69B (Insurance)
10. Huawei: $65B (Tech)
At the highest level, it’s no surprise that North America, Asia and Europe dominate the top 100. The only company from anywhere else in the world is Saudi Aramco ($47B), a huge Saudi oil company. Saudi Arabia has massive natural oil supplies and an autocratic regime, so naturally Saudi Aramco would enjoy significant brand recognition. The company has a market value today of $1.8 Trillion.
Brands from certain countries dominate the top 100, but no single industry or sector does. Of course, tech companies have a substantial presence thanks to sky-high valuations and global brand recognition. 5 out of the top 10 most valuable companies are all in tech, and that’s not counting Amazon, which Brand Finance classified as a retail company. After all, cloud computing in Amazon Web Services has long been the company’s biggest source of profit.
But by and large, there’s a nice blend of sectors represented across the spectrum, like media companies ($328B), auto manufacturers ($370B) and banks ($454B). Building a great brand is about a lot more than just having the best technology. There’s an underlying business model in each of these companies that adds a lot of value to customers’ lives, and in return, companies enjoy strong brand recognition.
One of the most interesting things to do is see how rankings change from year to year. Comparing this visual to the one from last year with data from Forbes, most companies saw the value of their brands grow, especially in technology. Amazon was only at $97B and has since catapulted to $221B. But some other companies are clearly struggling to maintain brand value, like McDonalds, which lost billions ($44B in 2019 vs. $37B in 2020). It will be interesting to see how Facebook’s decision to allow carte blanche political advertising will impact its brand value after the 2020 election.
What brands do you think are missing from the ranking? Let us know in the comment.
Data: Table 1.1
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