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BrandZ, a brand equity database, released its 2017 Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands rankings and retail e-commerce brands showed the fastest growth.

The rankings were based on data compiled by Kantar Millward Brown, a global research agency and WPP, a communication services group. Together, the firms analyzed interviews with over three million global consumers and evaluated the financial and business performances of each company with data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel. This is the 12th year the study has been published.

According to the report, the retail sector was the fastest-rising category in the rankings and increased 14 percent in overall value over the last 12 months due to revenues driven by e-commerce brands the likes of Amazon and Alibaba. Amazon won the top ranking as the world’s most valuable retail brand in 2017 and is also the fastest-growing performer in the retail category. The company grew its brand value by 41 percent year-over-year, increasing to $139.3 billion.

Across all sectors, Amazon took the number four spot in the list of the top 100 most valuable brands. Google ranked first with a brand value of $245.6 billion. Apple was second at $234.7 billion while Microsoft came in third with $143.2 billion. In fifth was Facebook with $129.8 billion. AT&T’s value of $115.1 billion put it into sixth place, and was followed by Visa ($110.9 billion), Tencent ($108.3 billion), IBM ($102.1 billion) and McDonald’s ($97.7 billion).

The company uses a variety of metrics to determine brand value.

Amazon’s continued success is due to its streamlined shopping experiences and popular initiatives for consumers such as Amazon Echo, Alexa, Amazon Prime Pantry and Amazon Prime Now. The company’s retail prowess is also distinguished by the creation of its checkout free bricks-and-mortar store, where shoppers pay through an app.

Amazon Go

Amazon Go is a checkout-free grocery store.  Courtesy Photo

The top 10 most valuable retail brands consecutively are Alibaba, The Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Ikea, Costco, Lowe’s, eBay, Aldi and JD.com. Alibaba has a brand value of $59.1 billion and is considered “China’s e-commerce leader.” The firm is also a primary automotive seller in Russia and is looking to further expand globally by establishing a distribution center in Croatia and a logistics center in Bulgaria. It was also noted in the report that brands such as The Home Depot and Wal-Mart have invested heavily in digital, which contributed to their respective growths.

And, brands are getting younger: The average age of a brand is now 67 years compared to 84 years, in 2006. This finding reflects the ongoing growth in China as well as the addition of newer technology brands that are “born global,” which allows for swifter expansion and adoption. These brands are developing a “new breed of entrepreneur,” that is uninhibited by geographical or sector boundaries that slowed growth in the past.  

David Roth, the chief executive officer of EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP, said, “The pace of retail was always fast and furious but in the 12 years since the BrandZ rankings began the rules of the game have radically changed. Wal-Mart has been overtaken as the world’s most valuable retail brand by Amazon and two Chinese e-commerce brands are in the Top 10.”

Roth added, “E-commerce has radically reshaped the retail and brand landscape and these changes are set to accelerate. Retail brands that don’t deliver seamless, unique customer centric experience online and offline will continue to suffer. The future of retail is not what it used to be.”

For More Retail Business Trends From WWD, See:

Lowercase Brings Eyewear Manufacturing to Brooklyn

Alliance Data Study Reveals Insights on Generational Spending

 Meet Consumer Demands, Fabletics Makes Its Own Sauce

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