Technological companies are now setting the pace … and the rivals are falling by the wayside

According to Brand Finance’s Global 500 2018 study, the strategic mainstays that have made Amazon the world’s most valuable brand today are customer-centeredness, technological innovation and the determination to win the greatest market share in any business even at the cost of reduced earnings.

For the first ever time in this study, the technological brands win the first 5 places in the ranking; Facebook (5th, $89.7 billion), Samsung (4th, $92.3 billion), Google (3rd, $120.9 billion), Apple (2nd, $146.3 billion) and Amazon (1st, $150.8 billion) chalking up an eyecatching growth in brand value of between 39% and 45% and leaving in their wake the telecommunications firm AT&T (6th, $82.4 billion). This change in the highest rankers clearly reflects a worldwide trend marked by predominance of the digital, looking set to soar even higher in the coming years.

World’s most valuable brands (Source: Global 500, Brand Finance)

World’s most valuable brands (Source: Global 500, Brand Finance)

Mindful of the digital era we are living through and levering market opportunities, China’s technological brands also boast a high brand value with Alibaba (12th) and Tencent (21st) in the highest parts of the ranking and with an annual growth rate of 67%. A close eye will need to be kept on these firms, which are likely to have a big say and are threatening to make great market inroads on the strength of strategies very similar to Amazon’s (Tencent, for example, has just announced its intention to follow Amazon’s cue and open cashier-less brick-and-mortar stores).

This trend is being set not only by companies of the technological industry; consideration must be given too to those other organizations that are aware of the need for change and are driving the digital transformation. Witness the bank BBVA, which has bent over backwards to switch its systems to efficient and scalable global digital platforms. For yet another year its fine prospects and outstanding market adaptation have driven it 46 places up the ranking (to 131st) and this upward trend looks set to continue.

Amazon: a daring strategic initiative

Brand value growth in recent years (Source: Global 500, Brand Finance)

Brand value growth in recent years (Source: Global 500, Brand Finance)

Amazon began selling books nearly 24 years ago and its insatiable ambition has now prompted it to set its sights on sending tourists into outer space, no less. Online marketer, provider of cloud infrastructure, electronics producer … the increase in synergies has fueled a 47% growth in the company’s value and it is now considered by many to be the world’s most innovative company.

  • Second North American headquarters (New York? Dallas? …).
  • Take over Whole Foods for its cashier-less store initiative (Amazon Go).
  • Produce films and TV series (winner of two Oscars with Manchester by the Sea).
  • Diversify its Prime Video television platform (with major sports competitions like the NFL).
  • Alexa, voice assistant built into the Amazon Echo smart speaker (USA leader).
  • Amazon Key, allowing in-home delivery when the customer is not present.
  • Alternative, non-bank-account payment and cash-collection facilities like Amazon Cash.

These are only some of the actions being taken by Amazon within a single year. Without a shadow of a doubt this ceaseless diversification and determination to make users’ lives easier is checkmating its competitors around the world, and who knows what surprises they will come up with in 2018.

Uncertainty motivates the brave

The fact is that technology is revolutionizing our world as we’ve known it to date. But make no mistake, technology is an enabler that opens up a whole new world of possibilities for our companies and society model. We usually admire people/firms that have pulled off telling feats, sympathizing with their daring, but would remember them if they had failed?

The daring, the innovators, those who err and then try again and again are those that win their place among those we “admire”. The founder of Amazon himself, Jeff Bezos, said in an open letter to his shareholders “Failure is the germ of innovation”, holding up Amazon Marketplace as the prime example of this, a firm now accounting for up to 50% of the US company’s turnover but which only came off at the third attempt.

The truth is that neither you nor I know what will happen in the next 10 years, even in our immediate environment, but what’s clear is that we shouldn’t be afraid of change.


Author: Eric Polvorosa Pascal

Las opiniones vertidas por el autor son enteramente suyas y no siempre representan la opinión de GMV
The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of GMV

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