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Amazon named world's most valuable brand at $315 billion

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 6/11/2019 Douglas A. McIntyre

One of the world's most widely respected branding companies has issued its list of the world's most valuable brands. Amazon is at the top of that list, with a brand value of $315 billion. It bested two other tech behemoths. Apple had a brand value of $310 billion, and Google weighed in at $300 billion.

The data are based on research by BrandZ, which has released a list of the Top Most Valuable Brands for over a decade. Amazon's brand value surged from last year, up 52%, a figure not topped by any other brand in the top 25.

Amazon's rise is not surprising. While Apple and Google have faced challenges in the last year, Amazon has excelled in its two primary businesses of e-commerce and cloud computing. It is the clear leader in both industries in the United States. Its cloud business also dominates much of the market overseas.

Google has faced the challenge of slowing growth, to some extent because of a rise in the market share of the online ad operations of Facebook and Amazon. It also has been challenged on an antitrust basis in both the United States and the European Union.

Apple, on the other hand, has grappled with a slowing of its iPhone sales, the flagship of its business. The slowdown has been particularly acute in the world's largest smartphone market, China, where its sales generally run behind local manufacturers including Huawei. Apple has increased its services and media business based on a hardware device platform of billions of devices. So far, the revenue from this has not matched the attrition in smartphone sales.

Behind the top three companies, Microsoft ranked fourth. It has turned around what was a decade of tough financial performance with its own, highly successful cloud business. Its market valuation came in at $251 billion. This was followed by global credit card and payment company Visa at $178 billion. After that, Facebook had a valuation of $158 billion, which dropped 2%, likely because of problems with its reputation stemming from privacy issues and successful effort to influence the U.S. elections via its social media platform.

BrandZ uses a proprietary formula to set values. These involve a brand's financial valuation, what it contributes to the value of its owner, which includes how much it contributes to earnings. The value of all brands in the study reached $4.7 billion.

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