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Chart: Ranking the World’s Most Valuable Brands

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Chart: Ranking the World's Most Valuable Brands

Chart: Ranking the World’s Most Valuable Brands

In just 10 years, tech brands have taken over the list

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Tech has already conquered the stock market and the realm of digital advertising.

Now the technology sector also has a strangle hold on another measure: the value of consumer brands.

Global RankBrandBrand Value 2017
#1Google$245.6 billion
#2Apple$234.7 billion
#3Microsoft$143.2 billion
#4Amazon$139.3 billion
#5Facebook$129.8 billion

The massive scale and reach of tech companies has helped their brand values to skyrocket over the last decade. In fact, even just adding Google and Apple’s most recent numbers together gives a figure that rivals the GDP of Sweden.

What is Brand Value, Anyways?

This data on the most valuable brands comes from the BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands report for 2017, which uses a specific methodology to quantify the financial worth of different brands around the world.

In this case, by “brand”, we are referring to the intangible asset that exists in the minds of consumers, which is usually an image forged over time through exposure to branding, ads, publicity, and other types of personal experiences.

Meanwhile, the “brand value” is the dollar amount a brand contributes to the overall value of a corporation. Measuring this intangible asset reveals an additional source of shareholder value that otherwise would not exist.

Diving Deeper

What types of companies are building the strongest brands?

Here is the Top 100 list broken down by a few different key categories.

A Close Look at the Top 100 Brands
Note: in these rankings we are counting both Amazon and Alibaba as tech companies

The amount of Chinese brands making the Top 100 is rising quickly – in 2008, only four made the list.

Today, there are 12 Chinese brands on the list, including widely-known names such as Huawei, Alibaba, and Ping An Insurance.

Other types of brands that do well in the rankings include financial services (23 of 100 brands) and technology (23 of 100 brands).

Brand Value on the Rise

Overall, the cumulative brand value of all 100 companies on the list has been rising. It now sits at $3.6 trillion in total.

Cumulative Value

For comparison’s sake – that’s bigger than the annual GDP of Germany, the world’s fourth largest economy.

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Animation: The Top 15 Global Brands (2000-2018)

This stunning animation shows a dramatic change in the world’s most valuable global brands. Watch tech companies like Apple shoot up the rankings in style.

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Animation: The Top 15 Global Brands (2000-2018)

Time travel back to the early-2000s, and a list of the world’s most respected brands might be surprising.

Tobacco company Marlboro is still one of the top 15 global brands with a value of $22 billion, while companies like Nokia and AT&T also help to round out the group.

Aside from Microsoft, the tech companies at the time were mostly focused on hardware and services. HP was considered a top global brand at the time, and even IBM was still making PCs until the year 2005.

The Platform Revolution

How times have changed.

In today’s animation from TheRankings, you can see how the list of the top 15 global brands has evolved over the last two decades or so.

The visible shift: as soon as Google hits the rankings in 2008 (2:21 in video), it becomes clear that the money is on the software side – particularly in coding software that ends up as a dominant consumer platform.

Shortly after, companies like Apple, Facebook, and Amazon enter the fold, quickly climbing to the top. Here are the final numbers for 2018 in terms of brand value, with data coming from Interbrand:

Top 15 Global Brands in 2018

The Problem with Hardware

What’s the difference between the big hardware firms of old, and the successful ones that dot the list today?

From a business perspective, hardware companies need to have a bold and accurate vision of the future, constantly taking innovative strides to beat competitors to that vision. If they can only make incremental improvements, the reality is that their competitors can enter the fold to create cheaper, similar hardware.

Samsung, which finished 2018 as the world’s sixth most valued brand, is a good example of this in practice. The company has had the top-selling smartphone for every year between 2012-2018 – an impressive feat in staying on top of consumer trends and technology.

Despite Samsung’s success, it remains stuck behind four other tech brands on the list – all companies almost exclusively focused on platforms: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple.

Why are Platforms so Dominant?

Constant innovation is a good barrier to entry if you can keep doing it – but the platforms have an even more bulletproof strategy: being everywhere at once.

Facebook uses the powerful network effect from billions of people as a moat, and then it buys up-and-comers (Instagram, WhatsApp) to cover even more ground. As a result, competing with Facebook is a nightmare – even if you could theoretically acquire new users at $1 per user at a ridiculous scale, it would require a marketing investment of billions of dollars to make inroads on the company’s audience.

Microsoft owns various platforms (Windows, Xbox, LinkedIn, Azure, etc.) that help insulate from competition, while Google’s strategy is to be everywhere you need to search, even if it’s in your living room.

Because platforms have massive scale and are ubiquitous with consumers, it gives them the ultimate pricing power. In turn, at least so far, they have been able to establish the world’s most powerful consumer brands.

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Meet Generation Z: The Newest Member to the Workforce

As Millennials enter their early-30s, the focus is now shifting to Generation Z – a group that is just starting to enter the workforce for the first time.

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Every generation approaches the workplace differently.

While talk over the last decade has largely focused on understanding the work habits and attitudes of Millennials, it’s already time for a new generation to enter the fold.

Generation Z, the group born after the Millennials, is entering their early adult years and starting their young careers. What makes them different, and how will they approach things differently than past generations?

Meet Generation Z

Today’s infographic comes to us from ZeroCater, and it will help introduce you to the newest entrant to the modern workforce: Generation Z.

Meet Generation Z: The Newest Member to the Workforce

There is no exact consensus on the definition of Generation Z, and demographers can differ on where it starts. Some have Gen Z beginning as early as the mid-1990s, while others see it starting in the mid-2000s.

Regardless, Generation Z is the group that follows the Millennials – and many Gen Zers are wrapping up high school, finishing up their university degrees, or looking to get their first real jobs.

Millennials vs. Gen Z

While generational differences cast a wide net and don’t necessarily apply to every individual, here is what demographers say are some key similarities and differences between Gen Z and Millennials.

MillennialsGeneration Z
Raised by Baby BoomersRaised by Gen Xers
Grew up during an economic boomGrew up during a recession
Tend to be idealisticTend to be pragmatic
Focused on having experiencesFocused on saving money
Mobile pioneersMobile natives
Prefer brands that share their valuesPrefer brands that feel authentic
Prefer Facebook and InstagramPrefer Snapchat and Instagram

Generation Z tends to be more pragmatic, approaching both their education and career differently than Millennials. It appears that Gen Z is also approaching money in a unique way compared to past groups.

What to Expect?

Generation Z does not remember a time when the internet did not exist – and as such, it’s not surprising to learn that 50% of Gen Z spends 10 hours a day connected online, and 70% watches YouTube for two hours a day or more.

But put aside this ultra-connectivity, and Gen Zers have some unique and possibly unexpected traits. Gen Z prefers face-to-face interactions in the workplace, and also expects to work harder than past groups. Gen Z is also the most diverse generation (49% non-white) and values racial equality as a top issue. Finally, Gen Z is possibly one of the most practical generations, valuing things like saving money and getting stable jobs.

You may already have Gen Zers in your workplace – but if you don’t, you will soon.

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