The world’s most valuable brands have experienced record growth according to the Kantar BrandZTM Most Valuable Global Brands 2021 ranking, with the total value reaching $ 7.1 trillion – equivalent to the GDP of France and Germany. The 42% growth was driven by the confidence derived from the availability of vaccines, the economic packages made available to the various countries and the improvement in GDP prospects. This is a growth rate that is more than four times higher than the average annual percentage increase recorded over the past 15 years. Of the top 100 brands, 56 are of US origin, with Amazon and Apple in the lead – each worth more than half a trillion dollars.
In detail, Amazon maintained its position as the world’s highest value brand, growing by 64% to $ 684 billion (the equivalent of Poland’s GDP). First entered the BrandZ rankings in 2006, Amazon’s value grew by nearly $ 268 billion this year and became the first half-trillion-dollar brand, reached by Apple reaching $ 612 billion. brand value.
Tesla is the fastest growing brand and has become the highest value automotive brand, growing 275% year-over-year to $ 42.6 billion. Five brands have more than doubled their value: Pinduoduo, Meituan, Moutai and TikTok from China and Tesla from the USA.
The overall growth is due to 69 brands that have increased their value by at least 5% since 2020, along with 13 newcomers, including Zoom, Nvidia, AMD and Spotify.
Technology dominates the top of the Kantar BrandZ rankings, with seven of the top ten brands coming from the tech sector. The technology has also allowed non-tech brands to achieve significant growth, for example Gucci – harnessing the power of TikTok during the pandemic, and Domino’s – leveraging online and delivery services. The top 10 brands now amount to $ 3.3 trillion, up from $ 800 billion in 2011.
American brands grew faster in 2021: their brand value grows an average of 46% year-over-year, which means that the United States now accounts for 74% of the total value of the Top 100, despite having only 24% of the Global GDP.
China consolidated its lead over Europe. Chinese brands have grown from 11% of the value of the Top 100 in 2011 to 14% today. European brands, on the other hand, now represent 8% of the value of the ranking compared to 20% in 2011.
“2020-21 was a record year for the growth of brands we rated as High Power, and while many have faced a difficult year, our study has once again shown that strong brands offer superior returns to shareholders. they are more resilient and recover faster “, comments Federico Capeci, CEO of Italy, Greece and Israel at Kantar. “This had already emerged from the Italian ranking, but it is even more evident considering the global ranking. With global e-commerce growth at 15% of total sales (the year before it represented 12%), this year has produced positive outcomes precisely for the brands involved in the e-commerce value chain – from distributors to couriers such as FedEx and UPS. We have also seen growth in sectors where many anticipated major challenges at the start of the pandemic: fashion brands, for example for example, they have grown in the overall rankings more than media & entertainment brands and luxury brands, despite the reduction in travel and global closures, have refocused their energies, concentrated on key markets and still managed to grow “.
Across all industries, brands were rewarded for meeting the changing needs and behaviors of consumers. As consumers spent more time at home during the lockdown, the Top 10 Media & Entertainment brands experienced very high growth (+ 50%). The technologies behind the gaming world, chip vendors Nvidia and AMD, entered the rankings for the first time.
The overall value of the Media & Entertainment brands was surpassed by those of the Apparel world with a growth in value of 53% explained by the fact that people have redefined the boundaries between work and leisure. The growth of the fashion brands was driven by athleisure with Adidas, Nike, Puma and Lululemon all seeing growth in value of 50% or more. Fast fashion, on the other hand, has not grown so quickly overall, with two exceptions: Uniqlo (+ 88%) and H&M (+ 47%).
With the massive use of online shopping during the pandemic, the Top 20 retailers overall grew in brand value by 48%. In addition to Amazon’s success, Chinese ecommerce brands have seen strong growth: Alibaba, number 7 in the global ranking, has consolidated its position as the second most valuable retailer brand, and Pinduoduo fast riser among retailer brands. The ecommerce giants aren’t the only winners in the retail world: The Home Depot saw 22% value growth thanks to online sales growth of 86% 1, Walmart increased its value by 30%, and Lowe’s of the 51%.
The new comer Zoom represents one of the big tech stories of 2021, with its ease of use and reliability for corporate and personal users. It entered the rankings in 52nd place with a value of $ 36.9 billion.
Subscription models have been a significant driver of success for many. Microsoft is one of the best examples (+ 26%) by innovating offerings to adapt to new work environments and moving to subscription models to improve convenience and scalability. Xbox (+ 55%), Disney (+ 13%) and Netflix (+ 55%) all saw growth, while Spotify entered the rankings after a 454% growth in subscribers from 2015-20 and a significant improvement in the brand. consumer equity. In addition to technology, subscription-based models are gaining value in other industries as well, and we already have examples such as Lululemon, Nike, Mercedes-Benz and Heineken.
Reputation is increasingly a driver for brand growth. The luxury category saw brand growth of 34% with predominantly French companies such as LVMH investing in corporate reputation through initiatives related to the pandemic, sustainable transformation and supporting social movements such as BLM. Even Gucci, the only Italian brand in the Top100 ranking, has been able to articulate the company’s own values through innovative social and environmental sustainability paths, amplifying the story of its actions with the Gucci Equilibrium platform. Likewise, L’Oréal Paris has managed to go against the trend in the pandemic of all beauty brands, ensuring the growth of the brand by promoting female empowerment.
“This year’s results show that investing in the brand remains essential to ensure growth,” explains Capeci. “We follow the stock market performance of our strongest brands and have seen them recover twice as fast as the others. Our analyzes have shown that 70% of what makes a brand a successful brand comes from the combination of four elements. fundamental: providing an excellent experience through touchpoints in line with the brand, a range of well-designed and functional products and services, as well as great communication that can attract and convince, not just entertain. The pandemic has emphasized some consumer values such as trust and reliability: the brands that are more sensitive have the ability to remain relevant and have already activated an evolution of their values in these directions, they communicate it and position themselves in a distinctive way “.