Apple overtakes Amazon to become world’s most valuable brand, while Tesla is the fastest-growing

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Apple overtakes Amazon to become world’s most valuable brand, while Tesla is the fastest-growing


Apple has overtaken Amazon to become the world’s most valuable brand for the first time in five years, according to a global report.

The value of the technology giant’s brand has climbed 87% in the past year to $263.4 billion, the Brand Finance Global 500 2021 Index found. The rise was down to Apple’s diversification strategy, which has seen the company expand into digital and subscription services and potentially into electric cars in the future, said London-based brand valuation consulting firm Brand Finance.

Apple
AAPL
became the first U.S. company to reach a $2 trillion market cap in August last year. It is also expected to post its largest ever quarterly revenue total and its first ever total above $100 billion when it reports earnings on Wednesday. 

“As Apple reclaims the title of the world’s most valuable brand from Amazon five years since it last held the top spot, we are witnessing it Think Different once again. From Mac to iPod, to iPhone, to iPad, to Apple Watch, to subscription services, to infinity and beyond,” said Brand Finance Chief Executive David Haigh.

Amazon’s
AMZN
brand value grew 15% to $254.2 billion, in a year that has seen the e-commerce giant benefit from stay-at-home orders around the world and surging demand. The company has also innovated and expanded in recent months, launching an online pharmacy store as well as the Halo fitness tracker. Earlier this month, Amazon bought its first fleet of planes, from airlines Delta and WestJet, to expand its airfreight network. However, the company lost its top spot to Apple.

Tech giant Google
GOOG
has the third-highest brand value, edging 1.4% higher to $191.2 billion, while rival Microsoft
MSFT
stayed in fourth with a brand value of $140.4 billion, a 20% rise, and conglomerate Samsung
KR:005930
kept hold of fifth spot. Retailer Walmart
WMT
jumped two places to sixth, while social media company Facebook
FB
stayed in seventh.

In a year dominated by COVID-19, technology and innovation helped drive the value of the world’s largest brands, with ride-hailing app Uber
UBER
and Chinese e-commerce platform Meituan
HK:3690
enjoying strong growth.

But Tesla
TSLA
was the fastest-growing global brand in terms of value last year, jumping 158% to $32 billion. Brand Finance said record sales numbers, a production ramp-up and expansion into new markets helped boost the electric-car maker’s brand.

While some sectors have performed well, others have endured a difficult year. Airline and aerospace brands accounted for six of the 10 fastest-falling brands: Boeing
BA,
American Airlines
AAL,
United Airlines
UAL,
Delta
DAL,
Airbus
FR:AIR
and Safran
FR:SAF.
Hotels also had a tough 2020 due to travel restrictions and lockdown measures, with Hilton’s
HLT
brand value falling 30% to $7.6 billion, while Marriott
MAR
dropped out of the top 500 altogether, along with Airbnb
ABNB.

Read: What will happen to airfares in 2021?

A brand’s value is the economic benefit it would achieve if it was licensed in the open market, according to the consulting firm.

The combined value of the 21 U.K. brands among the world’s top 500 fell 11% year-over-year, making it the worst-performing country, as Brexit uncertainty and the COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy. Oil major Royal Dutch Shell
UK:RDSA
kept its place as the U.K.’s most valuable brand but dropped 11% to $42.2 billion, while second-placed rival BP
UK:BP
fell 8% to $21.4 billion.

“As the vaccine rollout advances it will be interesting to see which British brands thrive and which will flounder while navigating a future outside the European Union,” Haigh said.

The index also includes brand strength, which is calculated as the efficacy of a brand’s performance relative to its peers.

Chinese mobile app WeChat replaced car maker Ferrari
RACE
as the world’s strongest brand. WeChat ran several government-mandated health apps to keep track of people traveling and in quarantine, giving access to real time data on COVID-19 and online consultations and self-diagnosis services, the index said, boosting its brand.



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