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Once again this year, technology brands lead the list of America’s most valuable according to the third annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable US Brands report [pdf]. But while tech brands dominate the list, other sectors and brands are experiencing faster growth year-over-year, particularly Insurance brands like UnitedHealthcare and Geico.

As this year’s new leader, Amazon benefited from a 20% increase in brand value to an estimated $334.6 billion. This double-digit increase was enough for Amazon to soar past last year’s leader, Apple, which experienced a decrease in value of 4% to $303.4 billion. Google, the inaugural most valuable brand in 2018, also decreased in value, by 3% to $303.3 billion and the third spot.

Amazon also tops the list of the world’s most valuable brands, per a separate ranking from BrandZ. However a ranking from Interbrand placed Amazon in the third spot behind Apple and Google, with the difference in position due to study methodologies.

Rounding out the top 5 this year in the BrandZ rankings are Microsoft (+21% to $261.1 billion) and Visa (+15% to $187.9 billion). Both brands remain in the same position as last year. Facebook follows in the 6th spot again despite seeing a dip in value of 1%, to $159.7 billion.

The top 100 overall combined for a brand value of $3.8 trillion, marking a 5% gain from last year. Earlier this year, a separate report from BrandZ also found that big brands keep getting bigger, although the growth has slowed down. In that report, the top 100 brands globally combined for a 7% rise in brand value, down from a 21% jump the year before.

Tech Dominates, But Others Rise

It’s no surprise that Tech continues to dominate the top brand value rankings, but the industry’s strong-hold appears to be waning. This year just under one-fifth (18) of the top 100 are tech brands, which is down from 20 last year. Just like last year, however, only 3 rank among the top 5.

The collective brand value of the Tech brands represented in the top 100 is $1.4 trillion. Put into context, this means that:

  • Tech brands are 18% of the number of brands in the top 100, but 37% of their collective value;
  • Among brands in the top 100, tech brands’ collective value is nearly 3 times the size of the next-largest category, Retail.

But, while Tech clearly is the dominant industry category by brand value, the rise in brand value of the Tech brands in the top 100 was only 4%.

For its part, Retail placed 11 brands in the top 100 – obviously led by Amazon. While Amazon is only one of the 11 Retail brands in the top 100, it accounts for an incredible 65% of the Retail brands’ collective value. (The next-highest ranking Retail brand in the top 100 is The Home Depot at #14, with a brand value about one-tenth that of Amazon.)

This year, Insurance brands are growing the fastest in value. The Insurance category saw its collective brand value grow by an impressive 92%, meaning that the value of the Insurance brands in the top 100 almost doubled in value from last year. (It’s still got a lot of catching up to do: while there are more than 3 times more Tech brands in the top 100 as Insurance brands, the Tech brands are worth about 30 times more.)

It’s worth noting that the huge growth in the Insurance category is largely due to two new entrants to the list, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, for which BrandZ was only able to access the required financial information and brand equity data required to establish a ranking this year.

B2B brands continue to make a strong showing. Salesforce was the 3rd-fastest riser in terms of brand value (+40%). Cisco (+31%), Adobe (25%), Microsoft (21%) and Accenture (20%) also ranked among the top 10 risers.

Other Report Highlights

  • With a 98% increase in brand value, Instagram is the fastest riser this year and is now 31st on the list (up from 53rd last year).
  • The top 5 brands combined for $1.4 trillion in value, meaning that they hog 36% of the total value of the top 100.
  • Estée Lauder beats out Pampers when stripping away all other components of the ranking other than “brand contribution,” which measures “how well a brand differentiates itself from its competitors, generates desire, and cultivates loyalty.”
  • Uber leads all brands in the top 100 for Best Brand Experience score and is also perceived by consumers to be the Most Innovative brand, ahead of Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Tesla.

The full report can be viewed here.

About the Data: BrandZ arrives at its brand value by multiplying the brand’s financial value (the amount of corporate earnings attributed to a particular brand) by brand contribution (a percentage of financial value). Brand value is defined as “the dollar amount a brand contributes to the overall value of a corporation.”

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