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Amazon's brand value tops $400 billion, boosted by the coronavirus pandemic: Survey

Amazon has maintained its position as the world’s most valuable brand, increasing its worth by almost a third to $415.9 billion compared to last year, according to a ranking by consultancy Kantar published Tuesday.

The annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranks companies by combining their market capitalization with consumer research of over 3.8 million people around the world.

Apple came in at second on the list, valued at $352.2 billion followed by Microsoft at $326.5 billion, which this year overtook Google to become the world’s third-most-valuable brand. This rise is due in part to the increased use of its Microsoft Teams collaboration software as employees worked from home during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the report.

While news of the coronavirus outbreak caused stocks to plunge in March, the share prices of online businesses like Amazon, which deliver consumer staples saw a surge in April as brick-and-mortar stores shuttered (the e-commerce giant’s response to the pandemic has been criticized, however).

“Although consumer reliance on home delivery during the pandemic stretched Amazon’s logistics capabilities, it also affirmed Amazon’s strength,” the Kantar report stated.

Alibaba is ranked sixth in the BrandZ list, valued at $152.5 billion, up 16% on the year prior, while JD.com’s brand valuation went up 24% to $25.5 billion, according to Kantar.

“Brands that enabled people to navigate life with digital devices, and achieve convenience and comfort, generally increased in value or at least outperformed their category,” the report said.

Brands are also better placed to survive this financial crisis than they were in 2008-2009, according to David Roth, chair of BrandZ. “Businesses understand the importance of investing in brand-building and are stronger and more resilient as a result,” he said in a release emailed to CNBC.

Chinese video-sharing app TikTok is the highest new entry in the top 100 list, with a valuation of $16.9 billion and ranking higher than brands such as KFC, Uber and Adidas. “TikTok is one of the most exciting and creative brands we have seen for a while entering the Top 100 and has been a game-changer during the pandemic,” Elspeth Cheung, global head of BrandZ valuations at Kantar, said in an emailed statement. But the ByteDance-owned brand is still dwarfed by rival social media app Instagram, whose brand is valued at $41.5 billion by Kantar, as well as Facebook.

The total value of the 100 brands in the list reached $5 trillion, up 5.9%. Pre-pandemic, their value was expected to rise by 9% according to Kantar.

The BrandZ ranking was commissioned by advertising group WPP and is conducted by Kantar. It looked at more than 17,000 brands in 51 countries. The large majority of consumers were researched online across a one-year period, with some in lower-income groups surveyed face-to face. For a typical brand the margin of error for survey data is less than 3%, according to Kantar.

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2020 ($ million)

Amazon              415,855                           

Apple                  352,206             

Microsoft           326,544                           

Google                323,601                           

Visa                     186,809                           

Alibaba               152,525                           

Tencent              150,978                           

Facebook           147,190                           

McDonald’s       129,321                           

MasterCard       108,129         

Source: Kantar  

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