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Market researcher Kantar Millward Brown has published the annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study and it’s a déjà vu kind of story. For the sixth consecutive year, Toyota has earned the title for the most valuable brand among automakers, with a brand value of $29.987 billion – representing a solid increase of five percent compared to the year before.

Toyota has been enjoying a strong demand for its SUVs in the United States and Europe, which corroborated with the company’s consistency, has allowed the Japanese marque to keep its crown. This is the explanation given by Peter Walshe, Global BrandZ director at Kantar Millward Brown, while speaking with Automotive News Europe and detailing why Toyota came out on top once again.

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It’s safe to say Toyota has been dominating the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands if we only take into account car manufacturers. So far it has been named the most valuable brand among automakers for 11 times, out of a total of 13. It had to settle for second place only in 2010 and 2012.

In the latest study, Mercedes enjoyed a significant boost of 9 percent, increasing its value to 25.684 billion to claim second place. The growth has allowed the Daimler-owned company to overtake BMW, which finished third with a brand value of 25.624 billion or four percent more than the year before. Walshe explained Mercedes managed to grab BMW’s second place primarily thanks to its growth in markets such as China, Brazil, and Russia, while the popularity of the E-Class was also a contributing factor.

The top 10 for automakers also includes Ford (4), Honda (5), Nissan (6), Audi (7), Tesla (8), Maruti Suzuki (9), and Volkswagen (10). The latter is back in the top 10 after a two-year absence caused by the nasty Dieselgate fiasco.

Overall, Google is still number one, with an impressive brand value of $302.063 billion or 23 percent more than in 2017. Apple is in second place with $300.595 billion (+28 percent), and Amazon is third with $207.594 (+49 percent). Top 10 is completed by Microsoft (4), Tencent (5), Facebook (6), Visa (7), McDonald’s (8), Alibaba Group (9), and AT&T (10).

If you're wondering how each company is ranked, here's the official explanation:

"In order to identify the dollar amount a brand contributed to the overall value of a corporation, BrandZ combines measures of brand equity based on interviews with over three million consumers about thousands of brands, with rigorous analysis of the financial and business performance of each company (using data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel)."

Check out the top 100 (overall ranking) in the photos below.

Source: Kantar Millward Brown, Automotive News Europe

Gallery: 2018 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands

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Tech, Content and Creativity Drive Biggest Ever Rise in BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands

The total brand value of the BrandZ Top 100 grew by a record 21% in the last year, adding almost $750 billion to the ranking, now valued at $4.4 trillion


- China accounts for the three fastest rising brands as the country's brands grow at double the pace of US brands

Bingeing on Netflix boxsets, sharing stories on Facebook and downloading content from Apple's iTunes have contributed to a record year of brand value growth in the 2018 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking released today by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.

The increasing use of data-driven, intelligence-led technologies - such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) - alongside creative marketing approaches has allowed many brands to build a more in-depth understanding of their customers and deliver convenience, personalised content and exceptional brand experiences.

Eight out of the Top 10 are technology or tech-related brands. This category continues to dominate the rankings with Google and Apple retaining the number 1 and 2 spots, growing +23% to $302.1 billion and +28% to $300.6 billion respectively. Amazon moved into the no.3 position ahead of Microsoft, growing +49% to $207.6 billion, while Tencent rose to no.5 ahead of Facebook (no.6) growing +65% in brand value to $179 billion, up three places from last year's ranking.

David Roth, WPP, says: "We've seen the biggest ever rise in brand value this year, driven by growth across all categories. Both new and established players have seen the payoff in being bold and adopting a long-term outlook towards brand-building.

"WPP's own focus is on providing innovative approaches for our clients that combine data and technology with world-class creativity. Those companies that invest in intelligence-led marketing and back their brands with the power of creativity and ideas will be the winners in today's world of innovation, disruption and change."

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2018

Rank Brand value 2018 Brand value 2018 Brand Category ($M) change Rank 2017 1 Google Technology 302,063 +23% 1 2 Apple Technology 300,595 +28% 2 3 Amazon Retail 207,594 +49% 4 4 Microsoft Technology 200,987 +40% 3 5 Tencent Technology 178,990 +65% 8 6 Facebook Technology 162,106 +25% 5 7 Visa Payments 145,611 +31% 7 8 McDonald's Fast Food 126,044 +29% 10 9 Alibaba Retail 113,401 +92% 14 10 AT&T Telecom Providers 106,698 -7% 6

Despite economic and political uncertainty in many regions of the world, this year's ranking shows its largest-ever annual increase in value - almost $750 billion (+21%). This gave the BrandZ Global Top 100 an overall total brand value of $4.4 trillion; up 204% over 12 years since it was first published in 2006. This is also the first year that all categories in the BrandZ Top 100 reported growth.

This was the first year non-US brands grew faster than US brands. Fourteen Chinese brands appear in the Top 100 ranking compared to just one (China Mobile) in 2006. The total value of China's Top 10 grew year-on-year by +47%, more than double that of the US brands (+23%). Other parts of the world, such as India and Indonesia, are also showing strong regional growth. The BrandZ Top 100 included seven Asian brands (excluding China), which grew +14% giving them a total brand value of $146 billion. Regional bank BCA (no.99) became the first Indonesian brand to enter the ranking, and newcomer Maruti Suzuki entered the Top 10 Car category for the first time.

Trailblazing Chinese brands dominate the Fastest Risers this year, with (no.59) leading the march following a staggering +94% rise in brand value bolstered by its entry into new categories such as finance. Alibaba (no.9) was second, entering the Top 10 for the first time this year with +92% growth, as it expanded its global reach and the success of Singles Day. The third fastest riser was Moutai (no.34) growing by +89%.

Key trends highlighted in this year's BrandZ Global Top 100 study include:

  • Intelligence-led marketing, such as AI and AR, allows brands to 'revive and thrive' and maintain relevance to consumers.
  • and HP reappeared on this year's list, having both been in the BrandZ Top 100 in 2016. US telecoms giant Spectrum (no. 27) led the Newcomers to the rankings, with Uber (no.81) and Instagram (no.91). Last year's fastest riser Adidas jumped into the ranking at 100. It was also the first time an Indonesian brand entered the BrandZ Top 100 with regional bank BCA at no.99.
  • Partnerships proved pivotal as brands sought ways to maximise efficiency. Leading brands continued to raise the bar on expectations for customer experience at every touch point-both online and offline-from trial to pick-up or delivery by seeking strategic, long-term partnerships.
  • Retail demonstrated strong growth as the fastest rising category growing +35% in value over the last 12 months.
  • Tech-related brands continue to dominate. In the 'battle of the brands', accounting for over half (+56%) of the BrandZ Top 100's brand value.

Doreen Wang, Kantar Millward Brown's Global Head of BrandZ, comments: "Brands that are winning in the intelligence-led marketing era include businesses such as Amazon and Tencent who put the consumer at the heart of everything they do. These brands use technology to understand the needs of their consumers and apply these learnings to create an ecosystem of services that fulfil multiple needs, enabling a seamless consumer experience between platforms." 

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report and rankings, and a great deal more brand insight for key regions of the world and 14 market sectors, are available online here. The Global report, rankings, charts, articles and more can also be found via the BrandZ app. The BrandZ app also contains the same features and functionality for all BrandZ regional reports and is free to download for Apple IOS and all Android devices from or search for BrandZ in the respective iTunes or Google Play app stores.

About the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking 

Carried out by WPP's marketing and brand consultancy Kantar Millward Brown, the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking is now in its thirteenth year. As the world's largest and most definitive brand equity platform, BrandZ reflects the brands that are integrated into today's consumer lifestyles. It is the only brand valuation study to combine interviews with over three million consumers globally with analysis of the financial and business performance of each company (using data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel).

In order to identify the dollar amount a brand contributed to the overall value of a corporation, BrandZ combines measures of brand equity based on interviews with over three million consumers about thousands of brands, with rigorous analysis of the financial and business performance of each company (using data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel). The BrandZ rankings are the only brand valuations in the world that take into account what people think about the brands they buy.

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