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BRAND VALUE

Apple holds on to top brand spot with record valuation

By our News Team | 2022

Apple retains its worldwide ‘most valuable brand’ title with a record valuation of more than US$355-billion, followed by Amazon and Google.

Apple has kept its title of the world’s most valuable brand following a 35% increase to US$355.1 billion – the highest brand value ever recorded in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking.

There are still no African brands in the ranking, as global brands continue to dominate on the continent. MTN is Africa’s most valuable brand at US$4.0-billion – just over US$600-million below the threshold of the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking this year.

Apple had a stellar 2021, highlighted by its achievement at the start of 2022 – being the first company to reach a US$3-trillion market valuation. The tech giant’s success historically lay in honing its core brand positioning, but its more recent growth can be attributed to the company’s recognition that its brand can be applied effectively to a much broader range of services, the Brand Finance study says.

Brand Value

Photo by Florian Doppler from Pexels

The iPhone still accounts for around half of the brand’s sales. However, this year saw Apple give more attention to its other suite of products with a new generation of iPads, an overhaul to the iMac, and introduction of AirTags. Its range of services, from Apple Pay to Apple TV, has also gone from strength to strength and become of increasing importance to the brand’s success.

“Additionally, Apple knows the importance of being in tune with its customers for maintaining brand equity,” the Brand Finance study states.

“Privacy and the environment are salient topics, and Apple bolstered its credentials on both fronts. This is evidenced by a greater transparency of the App Store’s privacy policy, reinforcing the trust customers have in the brand, and the announcement that more of Apple’s manufacturing partners will be moving to 100% renewable energy, as the company aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Good growth for Google and Amazon

Amazon and Google also saw good levels of growth, both keeping their spots in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking behind Apple – in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Amazon joined Apple in crossing the US$300-billion brand value mark with a 38% increase to US$350.3 billion, navigating global supply chain issues and a labour shortage in the process. Since June 2021, it has hired 133 000 new employees and recently announced plans to hire a further 125 000 hourly workers in anticipation of continued growth.

Amazon sees logistics as key, developing its own end-to-end supply chain through a growing fleet of trucks, vans and aeroplanes. Across 2020 and 2021, the brand has invested an estimated US$80-billion in its logistics division, compared to a combined US$58-billion in the previous five years.

Google saw a similar brand value growth of 38% to US$263.4-billion. The brand relies on advertising for most of its revenue, and was hurt at the start of the pandemic as advertising spend dropped due to uncertainty. However, as the world adjusted to the new normal, and with people spending more and more time online, advertising budgets opened back up and Google’s business rebounded, resulting in a healthy uplift in brand value.

TikTok is world’s fastest-growing brand

Tripling in brand value over the past year, TikTok is the world’s fastest-growing brand. With an astounding 215% growth, the entertainment app’s brand value has increased from US$18.7-billion in 2021 to US$59.0-billion this year. Claiming 18th spot among the world’s top 500 most valuable brands, it is the highest new entrant to the Brand Finance Global 500 2022 ranking.

With Covid restrictions still in effect across the globe throughout 2021, digital entertainment, social media and streaming services saw continued growth, and TikTok’s rise is testament to how media consumption is changing. With its offering of easily digestible and entertaining content, the app’s popularity spread across the globe, however, it also acted as a creative outlet and provided a way for people to connect during lockdown.   

At the same time, strategic partnerships, such as its sponsorship of the UEFA Euro 2020 soccer tournament, exposed TikTok to demographics outside of its original Gen Z base. It crossed the one-billion user mark in 2021 and became the most downloaded app across Android’s Google Play store and Apple’s App Store.

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