The rankings, in their 15th iteration and released by Kantar and WPP, covered 14 categories, with technology brands making up 37% of total brand value this year, and coming in second to retail in terms of brand growth.
Apple topped the list for technology, recording $352.2 billion in value, and growth of +14%. Gains in revenue were driven by wearable tech and services, while Apple TV+ took the company into the streaming service market.
Microsoft and Google took up the number two and three rankings respectively. Microsoft, the company behind Outlook and Teams, which have aided the shift to remote working, saw growth of +30% and have a valuation of $326.5 billion, while Google recorded +5% in growth and a valuation of $323.6 billion.
Along with products and services, the tech sector has also had to begin rebuilding trust with consumers following major data breaches such as that which involved Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.
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While Facebook began to centralise data generated by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, allowing for more reliable protection and greater user control, Google has displayed ways in which AI, in particular its Google Assistant voice recognition tool, can enrich life.
Overall, total brand value among the BrandZ top 100 saw an increase of 5.9%, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Technology brands have proved extremely resilient, especially relative to brands in most other categories, with revenue and profit generally improving, although at a slower pace,” said Martin Guerrieria, global head of research for BrandZ at Kantar.
“The recent crisis has helped reignite the ‘romance’ between consumers and technology brands, which had been cooling off due largely to trust issues around privacy and the protection of personal data.
“Lockdown has been a stark reminder that technology is indispensable to our lives, and that we are dependent on digital connections and devices to buy food and other essentials, conduct meetings and communicate with family and friends.”
The 2020 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands were determined based on market data from Bloomberg, as well as extensive consumer insights from over 3.8 million consumers.