Amazon is now the world’s most valuable brand, according to Brand Finance’s 2018 rankings, released yesterday. The online giant displaces 2017 leader Google, who slipped to third. Apple remained at second while Samsung and Facebook rounded out the top five.

Telstra is ranked as the most valuable brand in Australia, but just 120th in the global ranking.

Digital companies dominated the top of the 2018 Brand Finance most valuable list. For the first time the top five places are held by technology companies. Chinese tech companies also had a strong showing, with Alibaba at 12th and Tencent at 21st overall.

According to the report Amazon’s top spot is a result of its relentless growth and push into other industries.

“The strength and value of the Amazon brand gives it stakeholder permission to extend relentlessly into new sectors and geographies. All evidence suggests that the amazing Amazon brand is going to continue growing indefinitely and exponentially,” said Brand Finance CEO David Haigh.

Brand Finance’s Global top 10 most valuable brands

Telstra still number one in Australia

2018 is the third year in a row Telstra has taken top spot in the Australian rankings. According to the report their brand value has grown 14 per cent over the last year to US$12.4 billion.

“The strength of the brand is in contrast to the overall decline in Telstra’s market value of 21 per cent, highlighting the ever increasing role of the brand in the organisation’s business strategy,” the authors said.

“Telstra is also reaping the benefits of its customer-focused investments in the next generation of networks.”

Despite a controversial year, the Commonwealth Bank held its second place value ranking in Australia and reclaimed the “strongest brand” title. ANZ, Woolworths and Coles completed the Australian top five.

Brand Finance’s top 10 most valuable Australian brands

Apple steady but future looks “bleak”

The analysts were much more pessimistic about second place getter Apple, despite it maintaining its 2017 ranking and actually growing its “brand value” figures. Apples future “looks bleak” according to the authors who argued the company’s lack of diversification and growing competition will eventually catch up with them.

“Apple has failed to diversify and grown over-dependent on sales of its flagship iPhones, responsible for two thirds of revenue,” according to the authors.

“Apple’s increasing focus on what are effectively luxury products may cost the brand a fair share of the global mass market, limiting the potential for brand value growth.”

There were similar concerns over Google’s lack of diversification despite strong revenues. Focusing on particular sectors was  “holding it back from unleashing the full potential of its brand”, the authors said. However unlike Apple Google’s investment in autonomous vehicles and the mobile industry allows for a more expansive future, the report said.

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