Ranked: The Most Valuable Brands in the World in 2020
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Ranked: The Most Valuable Brands in the World

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Most Valuable Brands 2020

Ranking The World’s Most Valuable Brands

Due to its intangible nature, the power of a brand can be difficult to translate to a balance sheet. That said, a brand that truly connects with consumers and stands the test of time can deliver immense financial value.

Today’s graphic pulls data from the 2020 edition of Brand Finance’s annual Global 500 report, which ranks the world’s top brands by value using a multi-dimensional formula.

By quantifying the true value of a brand, investors and key decision makers can identify value that extends beyond quarterly earnings reports.

How much are brands really worth?

A Closer Look at the Leaderboard

With 18% growth in the last year resulting in an eye-watering brand value of $220 billion, Amazon is a clear winner as the world’s most valuable brand—towering over Google and Apple’s brand valuations. As the largest online marketplace on the planet, Amazon relies on innovative technologies and investments in fast-growing sectors, such as healthcare, to create a diverse retail ecosystem.

Although tech companies command five of the top 10 spots in the ranking, brands from more traditional industries are hot on their tails.

Here are the top 100 most valuable brands according to the report:

RankingBrand2020 Brand ValueYoY % ChangeCountrySector
#1Amazon$220B17.5%United StatesRetail
#2Google$160B11.9%United StatesTech
#3Apple$140B-8.5%United StatesTech
#4Microsoft$117B-2.1%United StatesTech
#5Samsung$94B3.5%South KoreaTech
#6ICBC$80B1.2%ChinaBanking
#7Facebook$79B-4.1%United StatesMedia
#8Walmart$77B14.2%United StatesRetail
#9Ping An$69B19.8%ChinaInsurance
#10Huawei$65B4.5%ChinaTech
#11Mercedes-Benz$65B7.8%GermanyAutomobiles
#12Verizon$63B-10.5%United StatesTelecoms
#13China Construction Bank$62B-10.2%ChinaBanking
#14AT&T$59B-32%United StatesTelecoms
#15Toyota$58B11.1%JapanAutomobiles
#16State Grid$57B11.1%ChinaUtilities
#17Disney$56B22.7%United StatesMedia
#18Agricultural Bank of China$55B-0.7%ChinaBanking
#19WeChat$54B6.8%ChinaMedia
#20Bank of China$51B-0.7%ChinaBanking
#21The Home Depot$50B7.3%United StatesRetail
#22China Mobile$49B-11.9%ChinaTelecoms
#23Shell$47B12.4%NetherlandsOil & Gas
#24Saudi Aramco$47BN/ASaudi ArabiaOil & Gas
#25Volkswagen$45B7.6%GermanyAutomobiles
#26YouTube$44B17.5%United StatesMedia
#27Tencent QQ$44B-11.3%ChinaMedia
#28Starbucks$41B4.5%United StatesRestaurants
#29Wells Fargo$41B2.3%United StatesBanking
#30BMW$40B0.0%GermanyAutomobiles
#31Deutsche Telekom$40B-13.6%GermanyTelecoms
#32Moutai$39B29.1%GermanySpirits
#33PetroChina$38B3.3%ChinaOil & Gas
#34Coca-Cola$38B4.8%United StatesSoft Drinks
#35Mitsubishi Group$38B42.8%JapanAutomobiles
#36McDonald’s$37B18.9%United StatesRestaurants
#37Taobao$37B-20.7ChinaRetail
#38NTT Group$36B-12.8%JapanTelecoms
#39Bank of America$35B-3.6%United StatesBanking
#40Nike$35B7.3%United StatesApparel
#41Porsche$33B15.6%GermanyAutomobiles
#42Sinopec$33B14.7%ChinaOil & Gas
#43IBM$33B1.5%United StatesTech
#44CITI$33B-9%United StatesBanking
#45Honda$33B28.6%JapanAutomobiles
#46Marlboro$33B-2.7%United StatesTobacco
#47Deloitte$32B9.6%United StatesCommercial Services
#48Chase$31B-13.8%United StatesBanking
#49Tmall$31B-15.9%ChinaRetail
#50UPS$29B0.6%United StatesLogistics
#51American Express$29B6.2%United StatesCommercial Services
#52Xfinity$29B6.4%United StatesTelecoms
#53United Healthcare$28B-7.4%United StatesHealthcare
#54Sumitomo Group$28B4.5%JapanMining, Iron & Steel
#55Intel$27B-5.5%United StatesTech
#56VISA$27B-3%United StatesCommercial Services
#57Instagram$27B58%United StatesMedia
#58China Life$25B-4.4%ChinaInsurance
#59Accenture$25B-3.8%United StatesIT Services
#60Allianz$25B7.5%GermanyInsurance
#61CSCEC$25B-3.3%ChinaEngineering & Construction
#62PWC$25B-0.3%United StatesCommercial Services
#63Lowe’s$25B3.4%United StatesRetail
#64Mitsui$24B15.8%JapanMining, Iron & Steel
#65General Electric$24B-14.4%United StatesEngineering & Construction
#66EY$24B2.1%United KingdomCommercial Services
#67Oracle$24B-6.7%United StatesTech
#68Cisco$24B7.1%United StatesTech
#69BP$23B2.6%United KingdomOil & Gas
#70CVS$23B9.1%United KingdomRetail
#71Total$23B8.1%FranceOil & Gas
#72FedEx$23B-5.1%United StatesLogistics
#73Netflix$23B8.4%United StatesMedia
#74China Merchants Bank$23B1.8%ChinaBanking
#75JP Morgan$23B15.3%United StatesBanking
#76Boeing$23B-29%United StatesAerospace & Defence
#77Costco$23B32.1%United StatesRetail
#78SK Group$22B-17.5%South KoreaTelecoms
#79Wuliangye$21B30.1%ChinaSpirits
#80Evergrande$21B0.5%ChinaReal Estate
#81Nestle$21B3.4%SwitzerlandFood
#82Hyundai Group$21B-2.8%South KoreaAutomobiles
#83China Telecom$21B-2.8%ChinaTelecoms
#84Siemens$21B-7.2%GermanyEngineering & Construction
#85TATA Group$21B2.3%IndiaEngineering & Construction
#86Mastercard$21B8.4%United StatesCommercial Services
#87Bosch$20B-14.6%GermanyEngineering & Construction
#88IKEA$19B-9.4%SwedenRetail
#89HSBC$19B-3.6%United KingdomBanking
#90Spectrum$19B25%United StatesTelecoms
#91Vodafone$19B-10.3%United KingdomTelecoms
#92Pepsi$19B2.2%United StatesSoft Drinks
#93Alibaba$19B28.8%ChinaRetail
#94Ford$18B-1.4%United StatesAutomobiles
#95AIA$18B17.3%ChinaInsurance
#96Orange$18B-13.7%FranceTelecoms
#97Nissan$18B-4.5%JapanAutomobiles
#98Chevron$18B4.7%United StatesOil & Gas
#99GUCCI$18B20.2%ItalyApparel
#100Dell Technologies$18B-22.9%United StatesTech

American retail giant Walmart enters 2020’s top 10 ranking with an impressive brand value increase of 14% to $77.5 billion. The retailer’s recent success could be partially attributed to its growing strategic partnership with Microsoft—which currently sits in sixth place. By tapping into Microsoft’s cloud services, Walmart can now provide a digital first retail experience for its customers.

Another brand that has experienced remarkable growth is China’s leading insurance company, Ping An. With 19.8% growth, resulting in a brand value of $69 billion, the financial conglomerate’s aggressive focus on fintech R&D has garnered the company 200 million retail customers and 500 million internet users—making it one of the largest financial services companies in the world.

While the majority of the world’s most valuable brands hail from the U.S. or China, which brands lead by region?

Most Valuable Brands by Region

Not surprisingly, Amazon leads as the most valuable B2C brand across the Americas, with the exception of Latin America. Beer brand Corona, was crowned as the leader in this region, boasting a brand value of $8.1 billion.

most valuable brands supplemental

In Europe, German companies outperformed other countries, with automotive brand Mercedes-Benz holding the title for the most valuable B2C brand for that continent—despite China being its biggest market.

On the other side of the world, Samsung reigns as Asia’s most valuable B2C brand. The company owns 54% of the nascent 5G market globally, having shipped 6.7 million 5G phones in the last year alone.

A Brand Eat Brand World

Whether brands are regional or global leaders, they still face the threat of being knocked of their perch by brands experiencing significant growth.

Climbing to the Top

With an increase of 65% to $12.4 billion, Tesla is officially the fastest-growing brand in the world. Despite concerns over not being able to keep up with demand, the electric car company is expected to exceed 500,000 vehicle deliveries in 2020. Having recently posted over $7 billion of revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019, the success of Tesla’s innovative models is sure to rattle the automotive brands in the ranking.

However, not everything comes down to innovation. European retailers Lidl and Aldi have seen growth of 40% and 37% respectively, and are only getting started.

After disrupting Europe’s entire supermarket industry by offering quality products at significantly lower prices, the chains now have their sights set on the U.S. market, with Aldi expected to surpass Kroger in sales.

Despite the unprecedented disruption caused by e-commerce, the popular assertion that entering digital operations brings instant success while bricks and mortar stores are doomed for extinction is being proved wrong

—David Haigh, CEO Brand Finance

In contrast, there are also well established brands that have struggled to retain brand value.

Racing to the Bottom

Chinese search engine Baidu—also known as the Google of China—recorded the largest drop in brand value, decreasing by 54% to $8.9 billion. The brand has struggled with a poor reputation and intensifying market competition. As a result, the brand’s revenues and subsequently its brand value were heavily impacted.

Boeing is a prime example of the unpredictability of brand value. As a company that once imbued trust and excellent safety standards, the brand’s value has dropped by 29% due to the recent reports of accidents that have tarnished its reputation.

The True Power of Brand

Boeing’s recent hardships reflect the volatile nature of brand value. While 244 brands in the entire ranking have increased their brand value year-over-year, another 212 have taken a hit.

Part of a brand’s purpose is to manage reputation, retain loyal customers, and generate awareness. Given that a brand is the sum of its parts, the ranking proves that an issue with any of these things could trigger a chain reaction, negatively impacting a brand’s bottom line.

So is it worth companies investing in their brand? All signs point to yes, for now.

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Energy

The Periodic Table of Commodity Returns (2012-2021)

Energy fuels led the way as commodity prices surged in 2021, with only precious metals providing negative returns.

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commodity returns 2021 preview

The Periodic Table of Commodity Returns (2022 Edition)

For investors, 2021 was a year in which nearly every asset class finished in the green, with commodities providing some of the best returns.

The S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) was the third best-performing asset class in 2021, returning 37.1% and beating out real estate and all major equity indices.

This graphic from U.S. Global Investors tracks individual commodity returns over the past decade, ranking them based on their individual performance each year.

Commodity Prices Surge in 2021

After a strong performance from commodities (metals especially) in the year prior, 2021 was all about energy commodities.

The top three performers for 2021 were energy fuels, with coal providing the single best annual return of any commodity over the past 10 years at 160.6%. According to U.S. Global Investors, coal was also the least volatile commodity of 2021, meaning investors had a smooth ride as the fossil fuel surged in price.

Commodity2021 Returns
Coal160.61%
Crude Oil55.01%
Gas46.91%
Aluminum42.18%
Zinc31.53%
Nickel26.14%
Copper25.70%
Corn22.57%
Wheat20.34%
Lead18.32%
Gold-3.64%
Platinum-9.64%
Silver-11.72%
Palladium-22.21%

Source: U.S. Global Investors

The only commodities in the red this year were precious metals, which failed to stay positive despite rising inflation across goods and asset prices. Gold and silver had returns of -3.6% and -11.7% respectively, with platinum returning -9.6% and palladium, the worst performing commodity of 2021, at -22.2%.

Aside from the precious metals, every other commodity managed double-digit positive returns, with four commodities (crude oil, coal, aluminum, and wheat) having their best single-year performances of the past decade.

Energy Commodities Outperform as the World Reopens

The partial resumption of travel and the reopening of businesses in 2021 were both powerful catalysts that fueled the price rise of energy commodities.

After crude oil’s dip into negative prices in April 2020, black gold had a strong comeback in 2021 as it returned 55.01% while being the most volatile commodity of the year.

Natural gas prices also rose significantly (46.91%), with the UK and Europe’s natural gas prices rising even more as supply constraints came up against the winter demand surge.

Energy commodity returns 2021

Despite being the second worst performer of 2020 with the clean energy transition on the horizon, coal was 2021’s best commodity.

High electricity demand saw coal return in style, especially in China which accounts for one-third of global coal consumption.

Base Metals Beat out Precious Metals

2021 was a tale of two metals, as precious metals and base metals had opposing returns.

Copper, nickel, zinc, aluminum, and lead, all essential for the clean energy transition, kept up last year’s positive returns as the EV batteries and renewable energy technologies caught investors’ attention.

Demand for these energy metals looks set to continue in 2022, with Tesla having already signed a $1.5 billion deal for 75,000 tonnes of nickel with Talon Metals.

Metals price performance 2021

On the other end of the spectrum, precious metals simply sunk like a rock last year.

Investors turned to equities, real estate, and even cryptocurrencies to preserve and grow their investments, rather than the traditionally favorable gold (-3.64%) and silver (-11.72%). Platinum and palladium also lagged behind other commodities, only returning -9.64% and -22.21% respectively.

Grains Bring Steady Gains

In a year of over and underperformers, grains kept up their steady track record and notched their fifth year in a row of positive returns.

Both corn and wheat provided double-digit returns, with corn reaching eight-year highs and wheat reaching prices not seen in over nine years. Overall, these two grains followed 2021’s trend of increasing food prices, as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index reached a 10-year high, rising by 17.8% over the course of the year.

Grains price performance 2021

As inflation across commodities, assets, and consumer goods surged in 2021, investors will now be keeping a sharp eye for a pullback in 2022. We’ll have to wait and see whether or not the Fed’s plans to increase rates and taper asset purchases will manage to provide price stability in commodities.

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Technology

Apple’s Colossal Market Cap as it Hits $3 Trillion

Apple’s market cap recently hit $3 trillion. To put that scale into context, this visualization compares Apple to European indexes.

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apple 3 trillion market cap

Apple’s Colossal Market Cap in Context

In January of 2019, Apple’s market capitalization stood at $700 billion.

While this was perceived as a colossal figure at the time, when we fast forward to today, that valuation seems a lot more modest. Since then, Apple has surged to touch a $3 trillion valuation on January 3rd, 2022.

To gauge just how monstrous of a figure this is, consider that Apple is no longer comparable to just companies, but to countries and even entire stock indexes. This animation from James Eagle ranks the growth in Apple’s market cap alongside top indexes from the UK, France, and Germany.

Let’s take a closer look.

Apple Takes On Europe

The three indexes Apple is compared to are heavyweights in their own right.

The FTSE 100 consists of giants like HSBC and vaccine producer AstraZeneca, while the CAC 40 Index is home to LVMH, which made Bernard Arnault the richest man in the world for a period of time last year.

Nonetheless, Apple’s market cap exceeds that of the 100 companies in the FTSE, as well as the 40 in each of the CAC and DAX indexes.

Stock/IndexMarket Cap ($T)Country of Origin
Apple$3.00T🇺🇸
FTSE 100$2.90T🇬🇧
CAC 40 Index$2.76T🇫🇷
DAX 40 (Dax 30) Index*$2.50T🇩🇪

*Germany’s flagship DAX Index expanded from 30 to 40 constituents in September 2021.

It’s important to note, that while Apple’s growth is stellar, European companies have simultaneously seen a decline in their share of the overall global stock market, which helps make these comparisons even more eye-catching.

For example, before 2005, publicly-traded European companies represented almost 30% of global stock market capitalization, but those figures have been cut in half to just 15% today.

Here are some other approaches to measure Apple’s dominance.

Apple’s Revenue Per Minute vs Other Tech Giants

Stepping away from market capitalization, another unique way to measure Apple’s success is in how much sales they generate on a per minute basis. In doing so, we see that they generate a massive $848,090 per minute.

Here’s how Apple revenue per minute compares to other Big Tech giants:

CompanyRevenue Per Minute
Amazon$955,517
Apple$848,090
Alphabet (Google)$433,014
Microsoft$327,823
Facebook$213,628
Tesla$81,766
Netflix$50,566

Furthermore, Apple’s profits aren’t too shabby either: their $20.5 billion in net income last quarter equates to $156,000 in profits per minute.

How Apple Compares To Countries

Lastly, we can compare Apple’s market cap to the GDP of countries.

Country (excluding Apple)Total Value ($T)
Apple$3.0T
Italy$2.0T
Brazil$1.8T
Canada$1.7T
Russia$1.7T
South Korea$1.6T
Australia$1.4T
Spain$1.4T
Mexico$1.3T
Indonesia$1.1T

What might be most impressive here is that Apple’s market cap eclipses the GDP of major developed economies, such as Canada and Australia. That means the company is more valuable than the entire economic production of these countries in a calendar year.

That’s some serious scale.

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