Value of top 100 US brands tops $3.81 trillion

The total value of the brands in the Top 100 has risen 5% in the last year to $3.81 trillion.
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Ross Tucker

Executive Editor, New York, US

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The ability to offer consumers something they can’t get anywhere else has enabled US brands to grow their value far ahead of brands in other markets, according to the third annual BrandZ™ Top 100 US Most Valuable Brands ranking, announced today by WPP and Kantar. The total value of the brands in the Top 100 has risen 5% in the last year to $3.81 trillion, growing at twice the rate of the US GDP.

Thriving in uncertain times

Altogether, 54 of the listed US Top 100 brands have climbed in value over the past two years, by an average of 39%. The brands in the ranking are consistently strong, with 88 brands that were in the Top 100 in 2018 still listed today. The brands which consumers see as the most ‘meaningfully different’ (defined as truly meeting consumers’ needs in a way that makes their lives better) have grown their value 44% faster since 2018 than the least meaningfully different brands.

Amazon is the new no. 1

Up 20% in brand value and leapfrogging Google (no.3, $303.22bn) and Apple (no.2, $303.38bn), Amazon is now worth more than a third of a trillion dollars ($334.65bn), the most of any brand in BrandZ history.

Fastest risers

Instagram (no.31, $28.88bn) grew 98% in brand value, followed by Pinterest (+45%), Salesforce (+40%), Chipotle (+33%), and Cisco (31%). Chipotle, the only non-tech brand in this group, rapidly returned to form through heavy innovation in food, delivery and digital ordering following the issues it experienced back in 2015. Successful innovations include Lifestyle Bowls that cater to specialised diets, in-store kiosks and a partnership with DoorDash. 

“With exemplary growth over the last three years and the variety of industries represented in the ranking, American brands are true global leaders," said David Roth, Chairman of BrandZ. “These brands are primed for continued growth, and even as economic headwinds mount, they are likely to weather the storm better than most.”

Reed Cundiff, CEO Kantar North America says: “Back in 2017, the high meaningful difference scores of this year’s fastest risers gave us early signs of their future success. Today, they are defined by their difference, purpose and innovation credentials. These brands fulfill people’s needs by innovating to create new categories and clearly delineating their offerings from those of their competitors.”

The brands in the US Top 100 come from 22 different categories, creating a diverse landscape which indicates that nearly any kind of company can build a strong brand in the US. Technology once again dominates, with 18 brands, worth $1.4 trillion, contributing 37% of the total value. The 11 brands in the retail category grew 15% to $517 billion, 13.5% of the total value.

Other highlights of the third annual BrandZ Top 100 US Most Valuable Brands ranking include:

  • Brand building continues to be an excellent investment in the US – the BrandZ Top 100 have delivered a 135% higher return than the companies in the S&P 500 since November 2017 – far higher than top brands in any other country.
  • US brands have a huge presence on the global stage,accounting for more than half of the world’s most valuable brands (54), a number which is at an all-time high.
  • The US leads all other markets on innovation, with 36% of all US brands ranking highly on this measure. The most innovative brand is Uber, followed by Amazon, Netflix, Disney and FedEx.
  • Delivering a great customer experience is crucial:According to consumers, Uber, Fedex, Pampers, UPS and Amazon provide the best experience.
  • It is harder than ever to make it into the US Top 100– the brand at no. 100, Clinique, is worth 46% more than the no. 100 brand in 2017.

Editor’s notes

The valuation behind the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable US Brands was conducted by Kantar, which specializes in brand equity research and brand valuation. The methodology mirrors that used to calculate the annual BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, which is now in its fourteenth year. Commissioned by WPP and Kantar, the ranking combines rigorously analyzed financial data from Bloomberg with the opinions of over 327,600 US consumers.

The BrandZ Top 100 is the most definitive and robust ranking of US brands available, and the brands ranked all meet these eligibility criteria:

  • They were originally created in the United States.
  • They are owned by a publicly listed company traded on a credible stock exchange, or their financials are published in the public domain.
  • US unicorns have made their most recent valuation publicly available.
  • For Telecom Providers, the brand is owned by a US listed company, and mainly operates in the US.
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BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable US Brands 2020

Read the report to discover which brands made this year’s ranking, what US consumers really think of their most valuable brands, and the opportunities available for US brands to grow their value in the world’s most competitive market.
View the report