Amazon pulls ahead of Google and Apple as world’s most valuable brand
Ecommerce dominator Amazon’s brand is valued at more than $150bn, according to Brand Finance’s newest Global 500 rankings.
Surging ahead of rivals Google and Apple, Amazon’s value has grown by an extraordinary 42% in the space of year, largely thanks to its diversification into cloud services, electronics production and grocery retail.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented: “Jeff Bezos once said that ‘brands are more important online than they are in the physical world’. He has proved himself right by choosing the name Amazon, known as the largest, most powerful river in the world, as 23 years later the Amazon brand carries all before it as an unstoppable force.
“The strength and value of the Amazon brand gives it stakeholder permission to extend relentlessly into new sectors and geographies. All evidence suggests that the amazing Amazon brand is going to continue growing indefinitely and exponentially.”
- Top 10 fastest growing established US brands
- Apple and Google retain top spots as 2017’s leading global brands
- Top 10 most popular beer brands in the US
Although Apple defended second place in the ranking, with brand value rebounding to $146.3bn after the 27% decline last year, its future looks bleak, according to Brand Finance. Apple has failed to diversify in the way Amazon has and as a result is over-dependent on sales of its flagship iPhones, responsible for two thirds of revenue.
Other notable observations from the Brand Finance Global 500 Report include the rise of the tech companies, now filling the entire top 5 (Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung and Facebook).
Further, the growth of Chinese brands extends beyond the technology sector as the country continues to narrow the value gap with the US at an impressive rate. Since 2008, China’s share of global brand value has increased from 3% to 15%, growing 888% to $911.5bn in 2018.
Entertainment powerhouse Disney was named the world’s strongest brand and one of the most interesting to watch in the coming years.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”