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Amazon and tech giants soar in brand value despite COVID-19

Gulf News 2020-06-30 14:11:30

Dubai: Amazon and the world’s leading tech brands don’t seem to have any problems taking on COVID-19 – in fact, their brand values actually gained a few percentage points.

Amazon, one of the biggest gainers from shoppers shifting everything onto e-tailing, saw the value soar 32 per cent to a staggering $415.9 billion, according to the annual BrandZ Global Top 100 Most Valuable Brands listings. In fact, the retailer’s value was up nearly $100 billion this year, and accounting for a third of the Top 100 brand’s overall growth.

Clearly, the lockdowns were working in Amazon’s favour.

“It is an unusual year and time as we release the 2020 ranking with so much uncertainty and flux caused by the pandemic,” said Amol Ghate, CEO Middle East, Insights Division - Kantar. “However, the results reassure us and reaffirm our belief that strong brands withstand economic pressures better, and bounce back faster.”

Tech's on the ball

So did the tech supremos, with Apple maintaining the second spot as the second most valuable global brand (up 14 per cent, $352.2 billion), while Microsoft was at No. 3 (plus 30 per cent, $326.5 billion). Google (a gain of 5 per cent year-on-year to $323.6 billion) was placed a comfortable fourth, due to “growth of its cloud-enabled workplace ecosystem that incorporates Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, allowing people to maintain business as usual during the lockdown”.

In fact, as is the case now for some time now, tech and digital lead the Top 10 rankings, with only McDonald’s not cut of the same cloth. There was also a first time entry for MasterCard, the payments brand, into the Top 10, brought on by higher demand and awareness for digital/contactless payments.

“We are seeing that the pandemic has accelerated certain existing trends, and brands that were aligned with these - and drove them - further are winning in the market by ensuring they stay meaningful to consumers,” said Ghate.

“They have also done well in balancing the online-offline dynamics of modern life that became even more accentuated during the pandemic.”

Numbers add up * Technology brands continued to dominate the rankings, representing over a third of brand value in the Top 100 and growing by 10 per cent year-on-year.

* Having first entered the BrandZ ranking in 2006, Amazon’s value grew by almost $100 billion this year and accounts for a third of the Top 100’s total growth.

* Asian brands represented a quarter of the Top 100 brands, including 17 Chinese brands led by Alibaba (a 16 per cent gain to No. 6 and $152.5 billion).

Other contenders

This year’s rankings provide a heady mix of tech names and those retailers that have deployed digital to get ahead of the game.

The retail category had the fastest increase – 21 per cent - in brand value driven by e-commerce. Other big winners also had digital linkages - Netflix (a gain of 34 per cent, $45.9 billion) was up eight places to No. 26; and Instagram (47 per cent, $41.5 billion) moved 15 places to No. 29.