US retail giant Amazon has moved past hi-tech titans Apple and Google to become the world's most valuable brand, a key survey showed Tuesday. The brand value of Amazon surged by 52 per cent to $315 billion, global market research agency Kantar said in its 2019 100 Top BrandZ report. Amazon jumped from third to first place to eclipse Google -- which slid from first to third place with Apple holding on to the second spot. The Seattle-based retail behemoth, founded by Jeff Bezos in his garage in 1994, topped the table thanks to key acquisitions, superior customer services and a disruptive business model, Kantar said in a statement. "Amazon's smart acquisitions, that have led to new revenue streams, excellent customer service provision and its ability to stay ahead of its competitors by offering a diverse ecosystem of products and services, have allowed Amazon to continuously accelerate its brand value growth," said Kantar.
The agency, which is owned by British advertising group WPP, added that Amazon showed "little sign" of any slowdown in its growth. The top ten companies were once again dominated by US firms, with Apple on USD 309.5 billion, Google on USD 309 billion and Microsoft on USD 251 billion. Payments specialist Visa had the fifth biggest value at almost USD 178 billion, while social networking group Facebook was the sixth largest at nearly USD 159 billion.
For the first time, Alibaba beat Tencent to become the most valuable Chinese brand. E-commerce leader Alibaba was the seventh biggest at $131.2 billion, up two places on the previous year. Internet giant Tencent fell three spots to stand at number eight with a value of USD 130.9 billion. In a sign of Asia's growing importance, 23 of the top 100 brands were Asian -- including 15 from China.
The leading brands have embraced "disruptive" business models to beat traditional rivals in the technology, finance and retail sectors. "Amazon's phenomenal brand value growth of almost USD 108 billion in the last year demonstrates how brands are now less anchored to individual categories and regions," said Doreen Wang, Kantar's global head of BrandZ.
"The boundaries are blurring as technology fluency allow brands, such as Amazon, Google and Alibaba, to offer a range of services across multiple consumer touchpoints. "Using their consumer experience and expertise, these brands are crossing over into the business services sector, creating new opportunities for brand growth. "Disruptive ecosystem models are flourishing in regions such as Asia, where consumers are more technology-enabled and where brands are integrating themselves into every aspect of people's daily lives." Brand value on the key survey is calculated on the basis of the companies' financial performance and their standing among consumers across the globe.