Analysis: 2020 Brand Review

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| The European | 10 December 2020

As a global flu pandemic became the focus of all our lives, some companies stood to gain a lot while we were social distancing. While Mcdonalds, Disney and Toyota who rely heavily on physical footfall failed to make an impression, others who already had a hand in the eCommerce world were set for a big year as consumers stayed at home. Data collected by third party financial comparison site, Bankr, shows the year on year difference in brand value, for some of the worlds biggest businesses.

Pandemic notwithstanding it has been a tumultuous year in the stock market. Here we take a look on the brands that stood to make the most and those that actually did: 

Top growth: 

In a year filled with domestic, economic and social uncertainty these five brands came out swinging and end the year with the highest brand value. With 2020 drawing to a close, the cumulative brand value of the top ten brands has surpassed $1.1 trillion. 

Amazon 

Online retail giant Amazon has recorded the largest brand value growth on a year-to-date basis by 60% to $200.66 billion.  

National lockdowns led to a boom in online sales, as consumers sought convenience and comfort while at home. Initially the company’s logistics division struggled to meet demand, but by significantly expanding their workforce the business rose to the occasion and the top of brand value rankings. 

Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has soared to the top of Forbes billionaire list with a net worth of $186.9 Bn. Earlier this year, The Guardian reported that Bezos’ wealth had grown by $214bn from the pandemic alone.

Microsoft 

Microsoft’s brand value has grown by 53% to $166 billion.  

Founded in 1975, Microsoft has grown to be one of the biggest multinational Information Technology companies. After acquiring telecommunications app Skype and employment oriented social platform LinkedIn during the 2010s their brand value has grown exponentially. 

Current CEO Satya Nadella has shifted company interest from hardware to more cloud-based computing and their flagship line of mobile tablets and touch screen laptops. 

Earlier this year Microsoft acquired Affirmed Networks for $1.3 bn; shortly afterwards it announced the indefinite closure of all their retail stores due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In November the company released their next Gen consoles Xbox Series X and S, and according to Microsoft, the consoles were the biggest launch for Xbox ever, with more consoles sold in its first 24 hours, in more countries, then any Xbox previously.  

Spotify 

The Swedish based audio streaming platform has had a great year; with more consumers working from home the platform recorded numerous growing global streaming trends.   

As people began to social distance there was an increase in nostalgia and work-from-home themed playlists and a 180 per cent rise in health and wellbeing playlists. Based on data collected from January 1st to October 31st 2020, 6-9am was the most popular time for consumers to stream.   

According to their website, the streaming platform has over 299 million listeners across 92 markets worldwide. They are the second most popular place to listen to podcasts in the world and their podcast audience has nearly doubled since the start of 2019. Following the debut of their 2020 Wrapped Campaign and news that popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” would be exclusive to the platform, their stock grew a further 16 per cent.  

Other brands: 

America based streaming platform and production company Netflix alongside software company Adobe were also top gainers this year.  Netflix’s brand value grew by 41%, during the financial year, almost identical to Adobe. Following a boom in global online streaming, Netflix climbed the ranks of Fortune’s 500 to settle at 164, a 33-place climb compared to the same time last year.  

Other brands that made it big but failed to reach the top of the list were: Salesforce.com, Paypal, Mastercard, and Apple. 

Failed to make any gains: 

Google 

Despite being the most visited website worldwide, Google failed to make any gains to their brand value this year. The Google brand value places it in fourth place with a drop of 1% to $165.44 billion. 

Mercedes Benz and Toyota 

During the year we were all at home, Car manufacturers had a hard time increasing their brand value. As a result, both, Toyota and Mercedes Benz recorded declines, of -8% and –3%, respectively. 

Disney 

The multinational media and entertainment conglomerate has had a tumultuous year and overall brand value fell –8% to $40.7bn.  

In January The Walt Disney Company decided to close their Shanghai and Hong Kong parks, then later in February announced the closure of their Tokyo Disney Resort. Not soon after the company closed their remaining resorts, marking the first time all their worldwide resorts were closed simultaneously. 

During March, following advice from the CDC Disney chose to halt their global cruise operations.  

After the worst week of US box offices sales, Disney announced they would no longer be posting box office figures alongside Universal Studios. Due to the pandemic, the company has been forced to postpone production on numerous films and TV shows, including the decision to premier content on their new streaming platform, Disney+ instead of their planned theatrical releases. Despite all this, Disney+ has recorded a steady rise in global subscriptions and was recently voted best app of 2020 by Google Store users and Apple TV App of the year. 

Mcdonalds 

Despite their shift towards drive-thru and curb side orders; the fast-food giant has not been able to increase brand value this year. Global lockdowns and social distancing has left its mark on the company and as a result their brand value dropped –6% to $42.81 Bn.

Follow The European to stay up to date with the latest global Finance news. 

Check out our Executive Education section for similar stories. 


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