BrandZ Ranking

These are the most valuable brands in the world

McDonald's is one of the ten most valuable brands in the world.
IMAGO / Beautiful Sports
McDonald's is one of the ten most valuable brands in the world.

The ten most valuable brands in the world remain among themselves: In the annually published BrandZ ranking by Kantar, hardly anything has changed at the top. Probably the most interesting finding: In the Corona year 2020, the 100 brands listed in the ranking have achieved record growth overall. McDonald's is among the top 10 brands.

Amazon not only maintained its position as the world's most valuable brand, but actually widened the gap with Apple, which once again came in second. Although the iPhone manufacturer increased its brand value by 74 percent, even more than Amazon (+64 percent), the e-commerce giant from Seattle nevertheless increased the difference in brand value compared to the previous year. While Amazon and Apple were still separated by 63.7 billion dollars at that time, it is now even 71.9 billion dollars.

Behind it, Google regained third place from Microsoft (410.3 billion; +26 percent) with a brand value of 458 billion dollars (+42 percent). Tencent moves up from seventh to fifth place, while Facebook also makes up two spots, landing in sixth place. Rounding out the top 10 are Alibaba, Visa, McDonald's and Mastercard. When looking at the overall rankings, one can get the feeling there hasn't been a pandemic with serious economic consequences for numerous industries and markets. According to Kantar , the 100 companies listed have increased their brand value by 42 percent , generating a total value of $7.1 trillion - roughly equivalent to the combined gross domestic product of Germany and France.

"Our study shows once again that strong brands generate higher returns in a difficult environment, are more resilient and recover more quickly," said Christoph Prox, who is responsible for brand at Kantar Germany. "The e-commerce segment increased its share of all globally generated revenues from 12 percent to 15 percent in 2020. It was a good year for brands involved in this value chain - from retailers to couriers like DHL. But we've also seen growth in sectors that were predicted to face greater difficulties. For example, apparel brands have actually grown more overall than media and entertainment brands. Luxury brands have also refocused and seen growth despite limited travel and global lockdowns."

Last year's growth winner was Tesla, up 275 percent. The e-car maker enters newly ranked 47th and is also the world's most valuable car brand for the first time. With TikTok (+158 percent, #45), Instagram (+100 percent, #18), Netflix (+55 percent; #24) and Xbox (+55 percent; #59), digital networking and entertainment providers have also seen strong growth over the past year, which is also likely due to the pandemic. The same goes for the new entry of Zoom (52nd), Snapchat (82nd) and Spotify (99th) into the rankings.

German companies gain value

The seven German representatives in the ranking have also made strong gains in value. The most valuable German brand remains SAP in 26th place with a brand value of 69.2 billion dollars (+20 percent) - however, the Walldorf-based company has lost a whole nine places compared to the previous year and has to cede the position of the most valuable European brand to Louis Vuitton (21st place, 75.7 billion dollars). Deutsche Telekom (46th place, 43.1 billion dollars) and the car manufacturers Mercedes-Benz (67th place, 25.8 billion dollars) and BMW (71st place, 24.8 billion dollars) also grew by around 20 percent each - but all lost ground in the ranking. Siemens (75th place, $23.6 billion), Adidas (79th place, $22.3 billion) and DHL (92nd place, $20.1 billion) also gain significantly in brand value and improve their ranking accordingly compared to 2020.

Die wertvollsten Marken der Welt

Quelle: BrandZ 2021 (BrandZ 2021)
R.MarkeWert in Mrd. US-Dollarzu '20R. 2020

According to Kantar, the availability of vaccines, the various packages of measures to stimulate the economy and, most recently, a renewed optimistic economic outlook were key factors in the growth of the Top 100. However, these growth successes would hardly have been possible without a strong foundation of awareness, image and consumer loyalty - added to this is the superior market position of some platform companies.

Brand building and investment

"Brands that respond to changing consumer needs and behaviors are being rewarded. The results show that brand building and investment in the brand, is an important component of the growth strategy," Prox explains. "Our analysis found that 70 percent of a brand's success is based on good execution of a few fundamental factors: superior brand experiences across consistently designed touchpoints; well-designed, functional products and services; ease of use; and awareness through excellent advertising. Through COVID-19, consumer needs for values such as trust and reliability are emphasized. Brands that evolve their values in this direction can positively stand out."

This text first appeared on