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Brand consultancy Interbrand compiles the “Best Global Brands“. ranking each year. The current report, entitled “The Decade of Possibility”, studies the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 to see how globally leading brands have reacted to the drastic changes of the previous twelve months. The Interbrand Ranking 2020 is the first brand-based survey since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

By Thomas Wagner.

Interbrand ranking 2020
© Interbrand

The Top Ten

Of all the 100 brands, it was Amazon (second place) that recorded the best performance in the last twelve months, with brand value growth of 60%. While Apple continues to lead the ranking this year after increasing its brand value by 38% to almost USD 323 billion in the same period, Microsoft recorded an increase of 53% and managed to overtake Google (down 1%) and obtain third place for itself. As a result, Google does not rank among the best three brands – for the first time since 2012. Samsung made the leap to fifth place, followed by Coca-Cola and Toyota. Mercedes-Benz, at eighth place, remains the only European brand among the top ten, followed by McDonald’s and Disney.

Altogether the ten most valuable brands have a share of 50% of the total value of all brands in the ranking.

Social media and entertainment on the rise

With noticeable impacts from the developments of the global pandemic, climate change and shifts in the social fabric, Interbrand sees brands in social media and communication as the winners of the crisis. Instagram (19th), YouTube (30th) and Zoom (100th) have thus entered the ranking for the first time. Tesla is also one of the brands profiting most strongly from change, with the electric car brand taking 40th place in 2020 after last making it onto the list in 2017.

Major entertainment brands were also able to record positive development. Spotify (70th), for example, increased its brand value by 52% to USD 8.39 billion, jumping up 22 places. Netflix recorded brand value growth of 41% and in doing so took 41st place. Subscription and on-demand models represented a recipe for success used not only by Spotify and Netflix but also other brands that grew in 2020.

Good and bad for German brands

The eleven German brands in the ranking experienced mixed results. SAP alone managed double-digit growth of 12%. Allianz saw growth of 7% and DHL 5%. Siemens and Adidas, on the other hand, saw barely any growth. The results are also less positive for German automotive manufacturers, even with Mercedes-Benz and BMW retaining their spots from last year. Audi occupies place 44, Volkswagen 47, Porsche 55 and Mini 95. Compared to their international competitors, the German car brands fared significantly better. For example, Honda took place 20 (down 11%), Ford 42 (down 12%), Nissan 59 (down 8%) and Kia 86 (down 9%).

The extent to which the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the development can be seen in the strong value losses experienced especially by brands whose core business was heavily impacted by lockdowns, such as fashion and retail brands. The same applies to luxury brands.

“Even during crises such as the present one, strong brands are able to build up trust, motivate people and bring sense to chaos,” says Charles Trevail, Global CEO of Interbrand. He believes that the key to this are the three elements of leadership, engagement and relevance. Only when brands achieve these can they successfully lead their markets in a rapidly changing world.

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