Ranked: The World’s 100 Most Valuable Brands in 2021
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The World’s 100 Most Valuable Brands in 2021

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Most Valuable Brands 2021

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The World’s Top 100 Most Valuable Brands in 2021

In 2020, the global economy experienced one of the worst declines since the Great Depression.

Yet, while the ripple effects of COVID-19 have thrown many businesses into disarray, some companies have not only managed to stay afloat amidst the chaos—they’ve thrived. Using data from Kantar BrandZ, this graphic looks at the top 100 most valuable brands of 2021.

Methodology

Each year, research group Kantar BrandZ ranks companies based on their “brand value,” which is measured by:

  1. A brand’s total financial value, which is the financial contribution that brand brings to its parent company ($ value).
  2. Multiplied by its proportional value, measured by the brands proportional impact on its parent company’s sales (% value).

The financial results are then combined with quantitative survey data, sourced from over 170,000 global consumers. The end result is a holistic look at a company’s brand equity, reputation, and ability to generate value.

The Leaderboard

The total value of 2021’s Top 100 brands grew by 42%, reaching a combined $7 trillion. At the top of the list, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Amazon, with a total brand value of $683 billion.

RankBrandBrand Value
($B USD)
CategoryBrand Value %
change from 2020
1Amazon$683.85Consumer Goods & Retail64%
2Apple$612.00 Technology74%
3Google$458.00 Media & Entertainment42%
4Microsoft$410.27 Business Solutions & Tech Providers26%
5Tencent$240.93 Media & Entertainment60%
6Facebook$226.74 Media & Entertainment54%
7Alibaba$196.91 Consumer Goods & Retail29%
8Visa$191.29 Financial Services2%
9McDonald's$154.92 Food & Beverages20%
10Mastercard$112.88 Financial Services4%
11Moutai$109.33 Food & Beverages103%
12Nvidia$104.76 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
13Verizon$101.94 Telecom Providers8%
14AT&T$100.65 Telecom Providers-5%
15IBM$91.34 Business Solutions & Tech Providers9%
16Coca-Cola$87.60 Food & Beverages4%
17Nike$83.71 Consumer Goods & Retail68%
18Instagram$82.90 Media & Entertainment100%
19PayPal$80.62 Payments66%
20Adobe$78.52 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
21Louis Vuitton$75.73 Consumer Goods & Retail46%
22UPS$73.02 Logistics44%
23Intel$71.94 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
24Netflix$71.13 Media & Entertainment55%
25The Home Depot$70.52 Consumer Goods & Retail22%
26SAP$69.24 Business Solutions & Tech Providers20%
27Accenture$64.73 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
28Oracle$60.84 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
29Starbucks$60.27 Food & Beverages26%
30Walmart$59.52 Consumer Goods & Retail30%
31Xfinity$59.00 Telecom Providers26%
32Marlboro$57.01 Consumer Goods & Retail-2%
33Disney$55.22 Media & Entertainment13%
34Meituan$52.40Technology119%
35Texas Instruments$49.24Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
36Salesforce$48.98Business Solutions & Tech Providers61%
37Qualcomm$48.36Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
38Spectrum$47.28 Telecom Providers10%
39YouTube$47.10Media & Entertainment39%
40Chanel$47.05 Consumer Goods & Retail30%
41Cisco$46.82 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
42Samsung$46.77 Technology44%
43Hermès$46.40Consumer Goods & Retail40%
44JD$44.52 Consumer Goods & Retail75%
45TikTok$43.52 Media & Entertainment158%
46Deutsche Telekom$43.10 Telecom Providers16%
47Tesla$42.61 Cars & Transportation275%
48L'Oréal Paris$38.31 Consumer Goods & Retail30%
49Ping An$38.05Insurance13%
50Huawei$38.02 Technology29%
51ICBC$37.77 Financial Services-1%
52Zoom$36.93 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
53Intuit$35.87 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
54Linkedin$35.52 Media & Entertainment19%
55Costco$35.14 Consumer Goods & Retail23%
56Gucci$33.84 Consumer Goods & Retail24%
57AMD$32.92 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
58Tata Consulting Services$31.28 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
59Xbox$30.40 Technology55%
60Vodafone$29.74Telecom Providers29%
61American Express$28.58 Financial Services-3%
62Wells Fargo$28.00 Financial Services-8%
63RBC$27.61 Financial Services33%
64Toyota$26.97 Cars & Transportation-5%
65Haier$26.42 Technology41%
66HDFC Bank$26.37 Financial Services27%
67Mercedes-Benz$25.84 Cars & Transportation21%
68China Mobile$25.82 Telecom Providers-25%
69Budweiser$25.55 Food & Beverages5%
70Xiaomi$24.89 Technology50%
71BMW$24.82 Cars & Transportation21%
72Dell Technologies$24.78 Business Solutions & Tech Providers36%
73LIC$24.14 Insurance38%
74J.P. Morgan$24.11 Financial Services37%
75Siemens$23.64Conglomerate69%
76Fedex$23.59 Logistics53%
77Baidu$23.36 Media & Entertainment57%
78Uber$22.41 Cars & Transportation41%
79Adidas$22.34 Consumer Goods & Retail51%
80Chase$21.83 Financial Services7%
81Pinduoduo$21.73 Consumer Goods & Retail131%
82Snapchat$21.61 Media & Entertainmentn/a
83Zara$21.38 Consumer Goods & Retail0%
84Ikea$21.02 Consumer Goods & Retail17%
85UnitedHealthCare$20.87 Insurance32%
86Lowe's$20.67 Consumer Goods & Retail51%
87AIA$20.60 Insurance16%
88NTT$20.48 Telecom Providers1%
89Autodesk$20.45 Business Solutions & Tech Providersn/a
90TD$20.21 Financial Services17%
91Orange$20.20 Telecom Providers4%
92DHL$20.14 Logistics39%
93Didi Chuxing$20.04 Cars & Transportation0%
94China Construction Bank$19.78 Financial Services-6%
95Pampers$19.62 Consumer Goods & Retail6%
96KE$19.50Consumer Goods & Retailn/a
97Commonwealth Bank$19.47 Financial Services48%
98Bank of America$19.32 Financial Services14%
99Spotify$19.28 Media & Entertainmentn/a
100Colgate$18.89 Consumer Goods & Retail8%

It’s the third consecutive year that Amazon has placed first on the list. Since last year’s ranking, the ecommerce brand has seen its value grow by 64%. Keep in mind, this accounts for all areas of Amazon’s business, including its web and subscription services.

Second on the list is Apple with a brand value of $612 billion. Apple wasn’t completely immune to the impacts of COVID-19—in the early days of the pandemic, its stock dipped almost 19% from record highs—but the company recovered and reported record-breaking revenue, generating $64.7 billion in Q4 2020.

It’s fitting that the top brands on the list are big tech companies since the pandemic pushed consumers online for both their shopping and entertainment needs. A few social media platforms placed high on the list as well, like Facebook, which rose two ranks this year to score the sixth spot with a brand value of $227 billion.

Instagram and TikTok trailed behind Facebook when it came to total brand value, but both platforms saw exceptional growth compared to last year’s report. In fact, when looking at brand value growth from 2020, both brands scored a spot in the top 10.

Insights into Brand Value Growth

The most valuable brand report has been ranking companies for over a decade, and some overarching factors have stood out as key contributors to brand value growth:

1. The Big Get Bigger

Starting “strong” can give brands an edge. This is because growth rate is closely correlated with high brand equity. In other words, a strong brand will likely see more growth than a weaker brand, which might explain why companies like Amazon and Apple have been able to hold their place at the top for several consecutive years.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t account for industry disruptors. An innovative company could come out of the woodwork next year and give the Big Tech giants a run for their money.

2. Marketing Makes a Difference

The right strategy can make a difference, and even smaller brands can make a splash if the message is impactful. Brands with emotional associations, like pride or popularity, tend to see that translate into brand value growth.

Companies like Nike and Coca-Cola have mastered the art of emotional advertising. For instance, in May last year, Nike released a video urging consumers to stand up for equality, in a video titled, “For Once, Just Don’t Do It.”

3. Smart Investment

It’s not just about developing an effective marketing strategy, it’s about executing that strategy, and continually investing in ways that perpetuate your brand message.

For instance, innovation is the core value of Tesla’s brand, and the electric car company walks the walk—in 2020, the company spent $1.5 billion on R&D.

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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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