Amazon overtakes Apple and Google as most valuable brand

No Irish firms make top 500 but ‘Ireland Inc’ seen as one of the world’s leading brands

Valued at $150.8 billion, Amazon saw its value increase by 42 per cent from $106.4 billion over the last year

Valued at $150.8 billion, Amazon saw its value increase by 42 per cent from $106.4 billion over the last year

 

Amazon has leapfrogged Apple and Google to become the world’s most valuable brand in a new ranking dominated by technology-related firms.

Valued at $150.8 billion (€121 billion), Amazon saw its value increase by 42 per cent from $106.4 billion over the last year on the back of its takeover of Whole Foods, its increased presence in the home, and rising revenues from its cloud infrastructure business.

Apple remained in second place in the Brand Finance Global 500 study as its value rebounded following a 27 per cent decline last year. The brand’s value rose 37 per cent year on year to $146.3 billion from $107.2 million. However, the report’s authors described its future as “looking bleak” as it has failed to diversify and grown overdependent on sales of its flagship iPhones.

Apple’s “increasing focus on what are effectively luxury products may cost the brand a fair share of the global mass market, limiting the potential for brand value growth,” they said.

Internet giant Google dropped from first to third place last year as its brand value rose by just 10 per cent to $120.9 billion.

“Google is a champion in internet search, cloud and mobile OS technology but, similar to Apple, its focus on particular sectors is holding it back from unleashing the full potential of its brand,” the report authors said.

Technology firms claim the top five places with Samsung taking fourth spot with a 39 per cent in growth to $92.3 billion, and Facebook in fifth, with its value growth jumping 45 per cent to $89.7 billion. Microsoft was in seventh place overall.

Ireland Inc

No Irish brands feature in the report, although Brand Finance’s managing director for Ireland, Simon Haigh, said Ireland Inc’s reputation has benefited from the number of leading global tech firms who have a presence locally.

“While it is disappointing that no Irish brands made the list, per capita Ireland has the fourth-highest brand value as a nation,” he said.

“In addition, Ireland was one of the fastest-growing countries from a nation brand perspective in 2016 with a 20 per cent increase in its value and I expect to see similar growth for 2017. It has gained from its association with technology companies and that, along with how Ireland manages its tax affairs, makes it a leading nation in terms of brand value.

Chinese tech brands grew stronger over the last year with Alibaba now in 12th place, while Tencent, WeChat and Baidu all rank in the top 60 brands.

Telecom firms also featured highly this year with AT&T and Verizon rounding out the top 10 brands alongside retail giant Walmart and China’s ICBC bank.

In terms of the world’s strongest brands, Facebook, Google and Microsoft all make the top 10 but Disney, Visa and Ferrari are all ahead of them.