Asian brands Alibaba, Tencent, TikTok and Samsung, and others are among the top 100 brands list according to the 2020 BrandZ top 100 most valuable global brands ranking by WPP and Kantar.
The ranking includes 17 Chinese brands, of which two brands are in the top 10; retail giant Alibaba was the most valuable Chinese brand with Internet services giant, Tencent one place behind. Ranked sixth and seventh respectively, both companies are the only two Asian brands that made it to the BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands. Alibaba jumped one spot from its ranking this year and witnessed a 16% increase in brand value to US$152.5 billion and Tencent jumped a spot as well with a 15% increase in brand value to US$151 billion.
Top 24 Asian brands in the rankings:
- China Mobile
- Ping An
- Samsung (South Korea)
- Toyota (Japan)
- China Construction Bank
- HDFC Bank (India)
- NTT (Japan)
- Agricultural, Bank of China
- LIC (India)
- Bank Central Asia (Indonesia)
- Bank of China
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Two more Chinese brands enter the Top 100, Bank of China returned after a short absence and TikTok, the short video-sharing social network, were among five newcomers that joined the Top 100. TikTok (no. 79, US$16.9bn) was able to monetise its global audience not only with advertising, but also with eCommerce links, becoming the highest new entry this year. Along with TikTok and Bank of China, the personal care brand Lancôme entered the Top 100, partly on the strength of its sales in China. Moutai, the traditional Chinese baijiu alcohol brand, increased 58% to lead the Global Top 100 in percentage value increase. Top riser Moutai widened its distribution, range, packaging, and targeting strategies while retaining its premium brand positioning.
Of the 24 Asia Pacific brands making the top 100 list, 17 are from China, two from Japan (Toyota and telecom provider NTT), two from India (HDFC bank and insurance provider LIC), Samsung from South Korea, Bank Central Asia from Indonesia and the Common Wealth Bank of Australia.
Meanwhile, Amazon maintained its position as the world’s most valuable brand, growing 32% to US$415.9bn. Having first entered the BrandZ Global Top 100 Most Valuable Brands ranking in 2006, Amazon’s value grew by almost US$100bn this year and accounts for a third of the Top 100’s total growth.
Technology brands continued to dominate the top of the ranking, representing over a third (37%) of brand value in the Top 100 and growing overall by 10%.
Apple maintained its position as the second most valuable global brand (+14%, US$352.2bn) while Microsoft regained the third position (+30%, US$326.5bn) ahead of Google (+5%, US$323.6bn) at fourth spot, due to the growth of its cloud-enabled workplace ecosystem that incorporates Office365 and Microsoft Teams, allowing people to maintain ‘business as usual’ during the lockdown.
The retail sector showed strong performance, growing the fastest (21%) in brand value driven by the major eCommerce players. Over half of brands in the media and entertainment category appeared in the top 20 risers, including Netflix (+34%, US$45.9bn), up eight places to no. 26, Instagram (+47%, US$41.5bn) up 15 places to no. 29, LinkedIn (+31%, no. 43, US$29.9bn), and Xbox (+18%, US$19.6bn), up 22 places to no. 65.
Retail eCommerce brands Amazon, Alibaba and JD (+24%, no. 52, US$25.5bn) demonstrated innovation and agility during difficult times, along with more traditional retailers such as Walmart (+24%, no. 27, US$45.8bn), which has invested in its eCommerce capabilities.
Brands have also found new and creative ways to engage with consumers, build trust and create a level of intimacy, particularly in health and wellness. Athleisure brand Lululemon (+40%, US$9.7bn) was one of the fastest risers, having shifted its focus from yoga-inspired wear to work appropriate clothing, as well as offering online classes for people at home, the study revealed.
According to WPP and Kantar, the ranking uses valuations data incorporating stock price performance from April 2020 to reflect the impact of COVID-19. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, those companies that have consistently invested in longer-term marketing and in building strong brands have managed to stave off the worst of the crisis. Prior to the global pandemic, total brand value of the Top 100 brands was set to increase by 9%.
Despite the economic, social and personal impacts of COVID-19 the world’s most valuable brands have seen their total brand value increase by 6%, reaching US$5 trillion, equivalent to the annual GDP of Japan. It has increased by 245% since 2006, when the total brand value first reached US$1 trillion. The Top 100 brands have shown they are more resilient and less volatile in the current crisis than they were during the global economic crisis of 2008-9, adding an additional US$277bn of brand value growth over the past year. The BrandZ strong brands portfolios continued to outperform the market, including the S&P 500 and MSCI World Index, and even in the current crisis dipped less than the global average.
Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ at Kantar, said innovation has proven to be a key driver for growth in this year’s Top 100, and a way to prevent decline. "Creativity is also an important trait for the world’s most valuable brands. Companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google – the tech giants that keep on innovating – successfully combine both to continue being relevant to consumers’ lives and making it easier for them to choose a brand," she added.
Meanwhile, David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and chairman of BrandZ, said: “The continued growth in value of the BrandZ Top 100 shows that strong brands are in a much better place than they were in the global economic crisis of 2008-9. We see a significant improvement in brand equity now compared to 10 years ago because businesses understand the importance of investing in brand-building and are stronger and more resilient as a result. While the impact of COVID-19 has impacted every business regardless of size or geography, consistent investment in marketing can and will help carry you through a crisis.”
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