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Apple Overtakes Amazon As The Most Valuable Brand

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Apple topped Amazon and Google to become the world's most valuable brand for the first time since 2016 after its brand value jumped 87 percent to $263.4 billion, according to the Brand Finance Global 500 2021 ranking by London-based Brand Finance, a brand valuation consultancy.

Amazon is in the second position with a brand value of $254.2 billion, and Google came third with a valuation of $191.2 billion. Microsoft stays at the fourth position with a 20 percent rise in brand value to $140.4 billion.

Samsung stayed at fifth position; Walmart inched up to sixth position; and Facebook stayed at seventh position.

Technology companies are ruling the roost in brand value, accounting for 14 percent of the total brand value in the 2021 ranking, with 47 brands having a combined brand value just shy of US$1 trillion at US$998.9 billion.

Technological innovation-driven companies have significantly boosted their brand values as working from home is becoming the new normal in a year marked by global lockdowns. There was an unprecedented reliance on digital communication, retail, and entertainment.

The brand value of Apple leapfrogged above Amazon and Google due to the success of its diversification strategy as it began to focus on developing its growth strategies above and beyond the iPhone, which accounted for half of 2020 sales. It had accounted for two-thirds of 2015 sales.

Apple's diversification policy has seen the brand expanding into digital and subscription services, including the App Store, iCloud, Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Arcade. Apple's hotly anticipated Titan electric vehicle foray is also underway again. The brand becomes the first U.S. company to reach a US$2 trillion market cap in August 2020.

Meanwhile, Amazon also grew its brand value a healthy 15 percent as it benefitted considerably from the pandemic and the resulting unprecedented surge in demand as consumers turned online following store closures. Amazon acquired 11 passenger planes to expand its air logistics capabilities.

Further, the brand announced its entry into the health sector with the launch of Amazon Pharmacy and fitness tracker Halo. Amazon's growth strategy has been marked by daring diversifications.

Though its brand value edged up a percent, Google recorded its first ever revenue decline as a result of the pandemic. The vast majority of the brand's revenue comes from advertising, which took a hit over the last year as marketing budgets tightened.

Electric car major Tesla's brand value was up 158 percent to US$32.0 billion, the fastest growing brand in the Brand Finance Global 500 2021 ranking. Amazon's Chinese equivalent, Alibaba.com, was the second fastest growing brand, up 108 percent to US$39.2 billion.

In the automobile industry, Toyota was the most valuable brand, up 2 percent to US$59.5 billion, followed by luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz, with the brand value declining 10 percent to US$58.2 billion.

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