Apple claims back Top 1 @ Global Brand Finance 2021

In 2021 the big comeback is for Apple which is the number one brand for the first time since 2016 with a brand valuation of $263,375m. The increase of +87% compared to 2020 is mainly due to Apple's transforming and ability to reinvent itself, now combining Steve Job's legacy with the brand expansion into digital and subscription services under Tim Cook’s leadership (including the App Store, iCloud, Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Arcade).

Amazon also adds a healthy 15% brand value growth to US$254.2 billion. But the revenue boost and innovations dedication of the giant, heading also toward the health sector with the launch of Amazon Pharmacy and fitness tracker Halo, is accompanied by some reputational risks, for example with the workers' treatment and amazon prime topics lately hot discussed. Personally, I will follow up with the greatest interest the development of Amazon's own end-to-end supply chain, paving the road for others to follow and stating clearly that the distribution gains on importance further on.

In third place this year comes to Google with a brand valuation of $191,215m and just +1% growth, followed by Microsoft with $140,435m valuation and +20% growth.

The thriving industries are above all tech and retail, represented by 47 and 45 brands in the Global Brand Finance Top 500 Ranking this year. The unprecedented demand for their services and product played a significant role during the pandemic.

The software providers such as Microsoft (up 20% to US$140.4 billion), SAP (up 9% to US$18.0 billion), Salesforce (up 29% to US$13.2 billion), Adobe (up 25% to US$11.7 billion) all enjoy a boost in their brand values expected to continue thanks to the transition to online working. The traditional tech companies are now followed by some new entrants like Electronic arts or fast-growing gaming giants, like Tencent and Activision Blizzard. In Top100 (position 82) this year comes also Uber that benefits from a 34% brand value jump to US$20.5 billion.

Among the big winners in 2021 are also the streaming media services - Netflix enjoys an increase by 9% in its valuation to US$24.9 billion, Spotify enters the ranking for the first time with an impressive 39% boost in brand value to US$5.6 billion.

The automotive sector seems to be strongly influenced by its electric mobility strategy. Tesla grows 158% to US$32.0 billion brand valuation and this is the fastest-growing brand in the Top 500 this year. A leader in the automotive sector in 2021 is Toyota with a brand valuation of $59,479m, followed by Mercedes-Benz with $58,225m. The latest remains Europe's most valuable brand representing the traditional industry sector of the most iconic brand on the continent - the manufacturing. 

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About the ranking
The methodology of the valuation is based on a process flow which indicates how specific actions, taken by marketing and other corporate managers, result in changes to brand attributes (quality, availability, price, positioning, personality etc) which then affect the level of consideration for the brand amongst the subject stakeholder group, and how increased consideration leads to behavioural change, ultimately having a favourable financial uplift effect.