WPP and Kantar have just launched their 2020 BrandZ Most Valuable Global Retail Brands report, which identifies the world’s top 100 most valuable retail brands. The report is based on extensive insights from 3.9 million consumers worldwide combined with financial data from Bloomberg. It also reflects stock market performance through to mid-April 2020, in order to capture the impact of COVID-19 crisis. 

The rankings reflect brands that are pure retail, fast food, apparel and luxury.

Highlights from the report reveal that over the course of the preceding 12 months the value of the world’s top 75 retail brand has grown by 12% to $1.5 trillion.  To put this rise in context, Amazon alone grew its brand value by $415.9 billion and remains the world’s most valuable retail brand, commanding 27% of the top 75’s total brand value. 

The ranking provides an indication of the brands that are in the strongest position to withstand the impact of COVID-19, as they restructure their businesses to address the numerous challenges the virus presents.

The report emphasises the role of strong brand equity in enabling speedy brand recovery. It states that historical BrandZ data shows brands with strong equity recovered nine times more quickly following the financial crisis of 2008.

The report also asserts the importance of maintaining brand visibility in an appropriate manner during the crisis and details the activities being undertaken by some of the leading brands in this regard. For example; 

  • Amazon (positioned at No.1), has managed demand, reduced its speed of delivery and prioritised the delivery of essential products
  • Alibaba (No.2) has been using its AI expertise to help Chinese medics shorten coronavirus diagnosis time
  • JD (No. 13) has been using its distribution network to deliver essential medical supplies and food

Not surprisingly, the fastest category riser is pure retail, as grocery outlets benefit from consumer stockpiling. Digitally-oriented brands fared well with Amazon, JD and Alibaba up 32%, 24% and 16% respectively.  But stablished bricks and mortar brands fared well too, with Costco, Target and Walmart up 35%, 27% and 24% respectively. 

Other highlights:

  • McDonald’s (ranked No. 3 at $129 billion) remains the most valuable fast food brand globally, although other brands in the sector are experiencing rapid growth too as a result of delivery services and other innovations
  • Louis Vuitton (No. 5 with a brand value of 152.5 billion) is the world’s most popular luxury brand, with a new, flagship store in Seoul and creative partnerships with major artists
  • Nike (No. 6, $50 billion value) heads the Apparel category, as a result of collaborations, product customisation and e-commerce which have driven sales

The 2020 top 10 looks like this:

Rank 2020BrandBrand Value ($ billion)
1Amazon415.9
2Alibaba152.5
3McDonald’s129.3
4The Home Depot57.6
5Louis Vuitton51.8
6Nike50
7Starbucks47.8
8Walmart45.8
9Chanel36.1
10Hermes33.0

Graham Staplehurst, Global Director for BrandZ at Kantar commented:

‘Brand value isn’t just determined by financial performance but also by reputation in the eyes of consumers.  How retailers behave now in terms of helping people through the crisis, as well as the way in which they treat their staff and whether they comply with government and health advice, will be important to their survival.  Those that have actively demonstrated their relevance and usefulness and continue to do so as consumers’ lives start to get back to normal, will be best-placed to strengthen customer relationships both in the recovery phase and the long-term’.

For more information on creating the equity required to protect and grow your brand call Brandspeak on 0203 8580052 or at enquiries@brandspeak.co.uk

Jeremy Braune

View posts by Jeremy Braune
Jeremy specialises in delivering market research and consultancy programmes that enable organisations to maximise the impact of their brands, products and services, communications and customer experience delivery. His company, Brandspeak, has offices in London and Bristol and since 2004 it has been helping companies all over the UK and globally. Jeremy has also been a guest lecturer and speaker on London Business School's acclaimed MBA course, on the subject of Brands and Branding.

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