While it is difficult to put a monetary value on it, it is hard to argue that there is anything more treasured to a company than its “brand.”
It is its reputation, its identity, and the driving force pulling or pushing customers toward and away. A powerful brand means security and financial strength, while a weak brand is synonymous with failure and unsatisfied customers.
Brand Finance’s annual ranking of the world’s most powerful brands puts a dollars and cents value on 500 of the most successful companies around the world. Brand Finance calculates brand value using the Royalty Relief methodology, which determines the value a company would be willing to pay to license its brand if it did not own it. It estimates the future revenue attributable to a brand and calculates a royalty rate that could be charged for the use of the brand. Brand strength, royalty rate, and revenue are all factors in the final brand value.
In addition to its Global 500 list, Brand Finance also produces various niche lists based on its proprietary data, dividing the market into segments. One important segment Brand Finance has broken out this year is the most valuable tech brands.
Below is a quick look at the seven most valuable technology brands according to Brand Finance. Interestingly, the list is composed exclusively of retailers or companies that cater to retailers.
Not surprisingly, the retail powerhouse took the top overall spot in this year’s ranking, up from last year’s third-place finish. Its brand value jumped from $106 billion in 2017 to over $150 billion this year thanks in part to investments in continued technological innovations designed to improve the customer experience. Part of Amazon’s brand power comes from its 90-million member strong Prime offering that features free shipping, streaming music and movies, exclusive discounts, and now the Prime Wardrobe, which allows shoppers to try on clothes before purchasing. Brand Value: $150 Billion
Apple’s consumer devices have a massive following and its iconic iPhone is always ranked among the most innovative and best phones on the market. In addition to its intuitive and popular mobile and home computing devices, Apple has built a reputation as a retail innovator. The brand helped usher in the store of the future concept with wide-open spaces, interactive displays, and the elimination of the traditional cash wrap. Brand Value: $146 Billion
“Just Google it!” When your company name becomes a verb you can rest assured you have an immensely valuable brand. Google conducts over 3.5 billion searches a day and more than a trillion every year. But it is not just its venerable search engine that has solidified the brand, it is also its online marketplace, business applications, virtual assistants, and a host of other cutting-edge technologies that the tech powerhouse continues to invent and refine. Brand Value: $120 Billion
The current data controversy notwithstanding, Facebook has become an institution. The social media giant has over 2 billion active users and nearly 1.5 billion people log into Facebook daily. The tech brand has leveraged its massive user base to build a marketing empire, earning billions every year in ad revenue. Facebook and its partners leverage the immense amount of user information the platform collects to tailor promotions to individual wants and needs. The brand jumped up one position from last year’s finish to take fourth place in this year’s ranking. Brand Value: $89 Billion
The $81 billion brand dropped one position from last year’s fourth-place finish to claim fifth position this year. Microsoft built its brand’s power on the back of its windows operating system, Windows 10 alone has been more than 400 million active users. Its personal computing power is undisputed, but Microsoft is also a major enterprise tech player across industries, including a major focus on retail. Microsoft is innovating in a number of retail areas including inventory optimization, personalization, operations, customer experience, merchandising, and workforce management. Brand Value: $81 Billion
The Korean tech giant finished in sixth place for the second year in a row, growing its brand value from $51 billion last year to $77 billion in 2018. The electronics manufacturer produces some of the most popular consumer products in the world, from its smartphones, televisions, appliances, and much more, Samsung has a massive following. The brand is equally busy on the enterprise front, building innovative solutions for retailers with a focus on mobility, payment, signage, wearables, POS accessories, etc. Brand Value: $77 Billion
Alibaba jumped up one position in this year’s ranking to claim the number seven spot with a brand value of $54 billion, up from last year’s $34 billion result. The Chinese multinational corporation made a name for itself in the retail arena as an e-commerce channel. Dubbed the Chinese Amazon, the brand’s reach goes well beyond digital commerce, it offers payment services, public cloud, financial services and more. Brand Value: $54 Billion