When you look at those brand rankings you see history written in them. Our changing lives are reflected more faithfully in the services we pay for than in the treaties and the politicians that dominate the news. 2019 marks the first time that Amazon has reached No.1 in the World’s Most Valuable Brands ranking, displacing Apple, Google and Microsoft to 2nd, 3rd and 4th places respectively. Of those brands, only Microsoft was a major player twenty years ago.
Consider too, that the highest-ranked car brand, Toyota, is down at No. 41 in the top 100. Or that Uber, at 53, is a more valuable brand than either Mercedes-Benz or BMW. Or that Shell, the top-ranked energy company, languishes at 65. The biggest gains go to the disruptors.
You need a vision about where your brand could be tomorrow, not where it operates right now
Key to Amazon’s success – and that of Apple, Google, et al – is that instead of operating within a category they’ve become broad-based ecosystems. Amazon delivers a friction-free customer experience across multiple product categories (though you can still buy books from them, too). Apple sells services, not just phones, tablets and Macs.
Top risers within the 100 include Instagram, Lululemon, Uber and Netflix. The top twenty risers come from ten different market sectors, so there’s scope for disruptors to thrive in every market. Meanwhile, the Top 10 in Brand Contribution (where it’s the influence of the brand alone that’s measured) include three luxury brands; Chanel, Gucci and Hermès.
Some of the fast risers may yet be fast fallers. Even the mighty Facebook has seen a small drop in brand value as consumers become aware of privacy concerns. But the picture the Brandz 100 paints is of a world where old certainties and boundaries no longer operate. Even the brand categories are no longer fixed; as we move towards electrification, brands like Shell will become energy providers, not just ‘oil and gas’ companies.
For marketers, there’s a clear lesson. You need a vision about where your brand could be tomorrow, not where it operates right now. Even if it means tearing down a few walls to get there.