Their annual BrandZ top 100 rankings for 2019 revealed that tech giants took six of the top ten slots, but customer experience was at least as important as innovation for increasing brand value.
Apple saw its brand valuation grow 13% over the past year to $316.1bn, beating Google into second place ($313.3bn), followed by Amazon ($279.3bn), Microsoft ($215.5bn) and Visa ($163.9bn).
Rounding out the top ten were Facebook ($161.1bn), McDonald’s ($124.9bn), AT&T ($106.4bn), IBM ($95.3bn) and Mastercard ($91.9bn).
However, Netflix, the video streaming service, increased its value more than any other brand over the past year, growing by 93% to $30.2bn. That made it the second most valuable entertainment brand behind Disney, the report said.
Other fast-growing brands included PayPal (+88%, #19), Amazon (+69%) and Mastercard (+66%), although ride-hailing firm Uber was the most valuable newcomer to the rankings (#35, $21.1bn).
“Innovative companies such as Netflix and Uber are disrupting markets and creating new ones, while larger brands like Apple continue to shake things up with data, digital and marketing technology investments to maintain leadership in the new era of consumer experience,” said said Tim Wragg, CEO of Kantar North America Insights.
“This year’s ranking shows that while US brands are amongst the most innovative in the world, innovation alone is no longer enough for brands to grow,” he added.
Beth Ann Kaminkow, CEO of Kantar Consulting Brand & Marketing Americas, continued: “Customer experience is now the greatest amplifier of value growth. However, US brands are lagging other countries in delivering on consumers’ expectations and letting them experience their innovation.
“They will need to focus on improving consumers’ experience of their brand in 2019 by breaking down internal silos and uniting marketing and sales to design holistically across all channels and touchpoints, for experience and commerce.”
Overall, the BrandZ Top 100 US brands grew 15% in the last year to $3.65 trillion, a combined value that is nearly one fifth (19.6%) of US GDP.
Sourced from WPP, Kantar Millward Brown; additional content by WARC staff