Holmes Report 19 Nov 2017 // 5:25PM GMT
Technology leaders Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook topped the first BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable US Brands ranking from WPP and its Kantar Millward Brown research firm, which finds that the top US brands remain focused on purpose, innovation, and delivering a unique experience to consumers.
Google's value, driven by strong purpose and customer experience, increased 17% to $286 billion, compared with the 2017 BrandZ Global Top 100 ranking published in June. At number two, Apple grew 19% to $279 billion during the same period. Amazon, driven by strong brand experience, jumped one spot to number three compared with the 2017 Global report, growing 19% to $165 billion.
When compared with the initial BrandZ ranking in 2006, Amazon's growth tops the chart at 2,662%.
The US Top 100 brand value totaled $3.16 trillion, with the Top 10 brands accounting for half of the total. US brands dominate globally, with 54 ranked in the 2017 Global Top 100. Overall, technology brands accounted for 19 of the US Top 100 and $1.2 trillion, or more than one-third of the total value.
David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP, commented: "While America is in the midst of a volatile, unique political period, US brands remain focused and continue to thrive. With brands ranging in age from just 18 months to more than 200 years old, the rankings demonstrate that savvy US consumers will reward brands that evolve and deliver meaning over time, while also welcoming innovative challenger and transformational brands."
"US brands are among the most iconic and valuable in the world, and they are also the target of every brand from both abroad and the vibrant start-up world," said Tim Wragg, CEO of Kantar, Insights, North America. "Successful brands remain healthy over time when they build brand love via clear purpose, continual innovation, effective communication and a laser focus on customer experience. Sophisticated American consumers continue to set a high bar for US brands, providing them with a strong platform for domestic and global success."
Among the key trends highlighted in the BrandZ US Top 100 study include:
- Meaningful Difference always makes the difference: With a score of 187 (100 is the average), Apple delivers the most meaningful difference. But even in the challenging airline category, brands can deliver meaning. Southwest Airlines (number 74 at $8.1 billion), known for its quirky ads, its authentic social media engagement and its sponsorship that helps military veterans travel to war memorials, scored 149 on meaningful difference.
- US consumers have high standards with regard to brands and data: The American consumer is one of the most sophisticated in the world and expects better service in exchange for the data they share. Consumers no longer accept being lumped into a gender/age bracket and will quickly disengage with brands that don't show relevance.
- Going asset-light pays off heavily:Technology and services are transforming a traditionally product-first society into one where many brands are going "asset-light," no longer owning the full value chain and sometimes not any part of it. Instead, they focus on brokering the final product, offering services or value in other ways to improve the customer experience.
- Brand Experience makes or breaks brands: Americans place a high premium on time and show loyalty to brands that deliver a thoughtful, fulfilling brand experience. FedEx and Amazon rank first and second for brand experience as, often together, they offer selection, convenience and speed in the online shopping experience.
- Get out of the bubble: The American brand world can be highly insular, with marketers, agencies, and employees often sharing a narrow, largely urban worldview. For example, New Yorkers likely have more in common with Londoners than they have with Midwesterners. The result is people feeling that brands may not be interested in their business. Marketers need to understand and connect with real consumers across their entire geography, or risk losing ground to more in-touch competitors. Occasionally this includes hearing uncomfortable truths, but that's preferable to communicating without information.
- The Silicon Valley mindset continues to influence the US and the world: American companies and workers are among the most innovative in the world, and show no signs of slowing down. The innovation demonstrated by the Top 100 brands is evident, while transformative businesses are challenging brands, companies and markets. From Airbnb to Uber, Lyft and WeWork, Americans are rethinking how they work, travel, engage and live.