Amazon dethrones Google as top global brand: survey

The leading brands have embraced ‘disruptive’ business models to beat traditional rivals in the technology, finance and retail sectors. (Reuters)
Updated 11 June 2019

Amazon dethrones Google as top global brand: survey

  • The brand value of Amazon surged by 52 percent to $315 billion
  • Brand value on the key survey is calculated on the basis of the companies’ financial performance and their standing among consumers across the globe

LONDON: US retail giant Amazon has moved past hi-tech titans Apple and Google to become the world’s most valuable brand, a key survey showed Tuesday.
The brand value of Amazon surged by 52 percent to $315 billion, global market research agency Kantar said in its 2019 100 Top BrandZ report.
Amazon jumped from third to first place to eclipse Google — which slid from first to third place with Apple holding on to the second spot.
The Seattle-based retail behemoth, founded by Jeff Bezos in his garage in 1994, topped the table thanks to key acquisitions, superior customer services and a disruptive business model, Kantar said in a statement.
“Amazon’s smart acquisitions, that have led to new revenue streams, excellent customer service provision and its ability to stay ahead of its competitors by offering a diverse ecosystem of products and services, have allowed Amazon to continuously accelerate its brand value growth,” said Kantar.
The agency, which is owned by British advertising group WPP, added that Amazon showed “little sign” of any slowdown in its growth.
The top ten companies were once again dominated by US firms, with Apple on $309.5 billion, Google on $309 billion and Microsoft on $251 billion.
Payments specialist Visa had the fifth biggest value at almost $178 billion, while social networking group Facebook was the sixth largest at nearly $159 billion.
For the first time, Alibaba beat Tencent to become the most valuable Chinese brand.
E-commerce leader Alibaba was the seventh biggest at $131.2 billion, up two places on the previous year.
Internet giant Tencent fell three spots to stand at number eight with a value of $130.9 billion.
In a sign of Asia’s growing importance, 23 of the top 100 brands were Asian — including 15 from China.
The leading brands have embraced “disruptive” business models to beat traditional rivals in the technology, finance and retail sectors.
“Amazon’s phenomenal brand value growth of almost $108 billion in the last year demonstrates how brands are now less anchored to individual categories and regions,” said Doreen Wang, Kantar’s global head of BrandZ.
“The boundaries are blurring as technology fluency allow brands, such as Amazon, Google and Alibaba, to offer a range of services across multiple consumer touchpoints.
“Using their consumer experience and expertise, these brands are crossing over into the business services sector, creating new opportunities for brand growth.
“Disruptive ecosystem models are flourishing in regions such as Asia, where consumers are more technology-enabled and where brands are integrating themselves into every aspect of people’s daily lives.”
Brand value on the key survey is calculated on the basis of the companies’ financial performance and their standing among consumers across the globe.


Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

Updated 16 September 2019

Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

  • The Houthi attacks hit two Aramco sites and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday the US was ‘locked and loaded’ to respond to the attacks

HONG KONG: Oil prices saw a record surge Monday after attacks on two Saudi facilities slashed output in the world’s top producer by half, fueling fresh geopolitical fears as Donald Trump blamed Iran and raised the possibility of a military strike on the country.
Brent futures surged $12 in the first few minutes of business — the most in dollar terms since they were launched in 1988 and representing a jump of nearly 20 percent — while WTI jumped more than $8, or 15 percent.
Both contracts pared the gains but were both still more than 10 percent up.
The attack by Tehran-backed Houthi militia in neighboring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, hit two sites owned by state-run giant Aramco and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.
Trump said Sunday the US was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”
Tehran denies the accusations but the news revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Middle East after a series of attacks on oil tankers earlier this year that were also blamed on Iran.
“Tensions in the Middle East are rising quickly, meaning this story will continue to reverberate this week even after the knee-jerk panic in oil markets this morning,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Trump authorized the release of US supplies from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while Aramco said more than half of the five million barrels of production lost will be restored by tomorrow.
But the strikes raise concerns about the security of supplies from the world’s biggest producer.
Oil prices had dropped last week after news that Trump had fired his anti-Iran hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, which was seen as paving the way for an easing of tensions in the region.
“One thing we can say with confidence is that if part of the reason for last week’s fall in oil and improvement in geopolitical risk sentiment was the news of John Bolton’s sacking ... and thoughts this was a precursor to some form of rapprochement between Trump and Iran, then it is no longer valid,” said Ray Attrill at National Australia Bank.