GLOBAL: Consumer-focused tech brands that develop ecosystems, catering to many needs, take the top three positions in a survey of the world's most valuable brands, suggesting brands that offer simplicity in an increasingly complex world dominate.
This is according to the BrandZ ranking by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown, of the top 100 most valuable global brands, the total value of which has risen 8% year on year to $3.64 trillion.
Google, Apple and Microsoft remain in the top three positions, with +7%, +3%, and +18% growth respectively. Amazon, which claimed fourth place, saw the highest dollar value growth in the rankings, increasing by 41% - representing $40.3bn of growth.
Facebook, the social network now boasting almost two billion monthly users, took the fifth position thanks to +27% growth in brand value. Tech's big five, the report shows, now account for 25% of the total value of all brands listed in the rankings.
Dubbed the "Frightful Five" by David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP, he added that tech's giants now enjoy a seemingly unassailable position, brought about by their huge brand power.
Aside from the US' biggest players, China's Tencent – owner of messaging app sensation WeChat – entered the top 10 for the first time with 27% growth, suggesting that the key trends are now global rather than local.
One of the report's key findings is that brands that make themselves indispensable will find growth. Naturally, tech brands such as Google and Apple, which provide a simple hub for a consumer to interact with the complexity of their internet, have ridden this trend to the top spots.
For these brands, the ability for a consumer to carry out a plethora of activities under one brand means an offering of convenience and simplicity, thereby minimising the risk of consumer switching.
Amazon, despite sitting outside of the tech category, has brought enormous brand growth to the retail category thanks to a diversity of services that consumers can access. In addition, Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce brand, has also helped to make retail the fastest growing category: 14% in the last year.
Doreen Wang, Kantar Millward Brown's Global Head of BrandZ, noted the ease and simplicity that the internet giants offer, adding that consumer-focussed tech "has redefined our expectations, and we now take for granted that products, services, tools and content are immediately available at our fingertips."
Data sourced from Kantar Millward Brown and WPP, Facebook; additional content by WARC staff.