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Top 500 global brands revealed, with tech companies ruling ranking

Technology companies dominate the top 10 of this year’s ranking of the top 500 global brands, with Amazon taking top spot.

The brand value of the internet retailer – which opened its new HQ in Seattle this week (pictured) – grew by 42% over the past 12 months, and is now worth more than $150 billion.

The Brand Finance 500 ranking has been something of a Silicon Valley merry-go-round in the past three years, with Amazon replacing Google at the top of the ranking, who, in turn, had supplanted Apple the previous year. Apple remained in second place this year, with Google dropping from first to third.

It is the first time tech companies have claimed all top five places in the ranking (in fact, they make up the top eight). Tech sector firms in the top 500 had a combined brand value of $1.3 trillion, accounting for almost a quarter (23%) of the list.

Chinese brands the big movers

While US brands dominated the top 10, Chinese brands were among the biggest risers, with brand value rising by 888% in the past decade. You have to travel all the way down to number 66 before the first UK brand on the list – BP – appears.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said: “Since the 19th Party Congress in 2017, there's been a renewed emphasis on brand development by Chinese companies in all sectors. Interestingly, while China had been pursuing a dual strategy of building home-grown brands but also acquiring underperforming international brands, like Volvo and Pirelli, the emphasis is now firmly on home-grown brands. Brands like Huawei, Ping An, State Grid, Evergrande, ICBC, Yili, Haval, Wuliangye, and many others are now being recognised worldwide as quality brands. We expect to see this develop rapidly in more and more sectors.”

Individual rankings are calculated on a mix of brand strength (marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance), ‘royalty rate’ (a measure of how important the brand is to purchasing decisions), and brand revenue.

Brand Finance Top 10 global brands

  1. Amazon
  2. Apple
  3. Google
  4. Samsung
  5. Facebook
  6. AT&T
  7. Microsoft
  8. Verizon
  9. Walmart
  10. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)