The newly released Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2020 report from BrandZ lists Apple as the number one technology brand for 2020 and second most valuable global brand. While the official PR press release was published on June 30th, our report is far more Apple Centric with additional information including more charts.
A BrandZ ranking of brand valuations lists the brands making the largest absolute $ contribution to the total value of their respective parent companies, considering both current and projected performance.
This is the true value of brand building and we want to isolate and reward the brands making the largest contributions to the success of their parent companies.
A company may have a huge overall business value but the absolute $ contribution made by the relevant brand(s) that the company owns may not be a comparatively large figure—at least not a large enough figure to qualify for the given BrandZ ranking of brand values.
The brands that appear in this report are the most valuable brands in the world. They were selected for inclusion in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2020 based on the unique and objective BrandZ brand valuation methodology that combines extensive and ongoing consumer insights with rigorous financial analysis.
Apple: Top Technology Brand 2020
The BrandZ Technology Top 5 are listed as being Apple, Microsoft, Google, Tencent, and Facebook— companies that proved to being extremely resilient, especially relative to brands in most other categories, with revenue and profit generally improving, although at a slower pace. Variations in performance depended on the business mix of the brands, with Google, Tencent, and Facebook more vulnerable to the downturn in advertising spending.
The pandemic added a counterpoint to consumer impatience with the iterative pace of device improvement and disappointment that their personal data had been inadequately protected or misused. Older consumers had maintained a co-dependent relationship with technology brands, unhappy with them, but not unhappy enough to leave. Younger consumers had been less bothered by the exchange of personal data for free services.
Apple’s sustained growth, even during the pandemic, validated its strategy of synergistically linking the incremental improvement of its devices, particularly wearables, with its increasing range of services, including iCloud, iTunes, Apple Books, Apple Pay, and AppleCare.
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Apple launched a subscription streaming service, Apple TV+, which includes some original content and takes the brand into a competitive space where it faces other well-established content providers, including Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix, along with newer contenders like Disney+, AT&T TV, and Quibi, a short-form, mobile-first entry.
In partnership with Goldman Sachs, Apple introduced a credit card and that exists virtually on Apple Pay and physically in titanium. With the launch of an app called Attain, in collaboration with Aetna, a US health insurance provider, Apple deepened its involvement with healthcare. The app is designed to help users track their fitness and design regimes to improve personal health and wellness. It includes performance-based incentives, like discounts for Apple Watches.
Even as Apple shifted into services, several new iterative and shiny devices helped the company drive record sales and share price. AirPods Pro with noise cancellation achieved immediate popularity despite a price tag of almost $100 higher than the original AirPods, introduced in 2016. The iPhone 11 offered longer battery life, an improved camera, and prices that made the device more accessible.
Accessibility became more important to expand the audience for Apple services and also to compete with the availability of quality, lower-priced phones from Chinese brands such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi.
Apple Leads on Privacy and Trust
The BrandZ report further noted that “These services and devices illustrate how intertwined technology has become with every moment of people’s lives. Advances in AI and 5G promise to deliver greater consumer benefits in exchange for a more intimate relationship between consumer and brand. Trust will be fundamental, and brands face different challenges cultivating or restoring trust depending on how the use of customer data fits into their business model and how scrupulous they are about protecting it.
With a business model that does not rely on monetizing customer data, Apple addressed privacy directly in a Super Bowl ad promoting respect for privacy as an important attribute of the Apple brand. An iPhone ad featured doors shutting, blinds closing, locks locking, paper shredding, and an airline lavatory clicking to the red “occupied” sign. The ad ended with the line: “If privacy matters in your life, it should matter to the phone your life is on.”
BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2020
With a 32 percent increase in value, Amazon remained the No. 1 most valuable brand. Although consumer reliance on home delivery during the pandemic stretched Amazon’s logistics capabilities, it also affirmed Amazon’s strength.
Corporate cultural change, open systems, and the growth of its cloud business helped generate a 30 percent increase in value for Microsoft that pushed the brand up one slot in the ranking to No. 3, just after Apple, swapping places with Google, which was impacted by declining ad revenue related to COVID-19.
A Few Other Companies of Interest and their Ranking
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