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A New Decade

of Possibility
see their consumption choices At one time, it was inconceivable
as votes of confidence. In some that the DotCom Boomers Yahoo
instances, organizations have or AOL could fail, or that we’d fall
more power than governments. out of love with our Nokia handsets.
But Google and Apple showed us
At a time of deep reflection, a more compelling vision of the
the deepest form of relevance future and the rest is history.

Welcome to
is increasingly being driven by
an uncompromising approach The lifespan of an organization
to fundamental human issues. was contracting before 2020;
Businesses that do not yet the pandemic and our collective

Best Global
know, very specifically, which awakening will only serve to
constituents they are systematically accelerate that trend. Jeff Bezos,
disadvantaging (and how) are CEO of Best Global Brand,
at risk because in this hyper Amazon, a business so large
transparent world, the truth will it is almost planetary, said: “I

Brands 2020
out, and customers will “cancel”. predict one day Amazon will fail.
Amazon will go bankrupt. If you
PayPal is one of 2020’s fastest look at large companies, their
risers, thanks to a radical application lifespans tend to be 30-plus years,
of its values and the trust those not a hundred-plus years.”

actions drive. In 2015 it decided
to prioritise customers’ financial While it’s hard to conceive of a world
interests over its own higher revenue in which the 100 Best Global Brands
products. Despite an immediate are no longer in our lives, we are
stock market drop of 9% this undoubtedly at a point of divergence.
move unleashed long-term growth. A tipping point for many. Businesses
More recently, Paypal has begun a that cannot serve citizens and
program to redistribute capital from brands that fail to gain the consent
shareholders back to its lowest paid of customers will not stay ahead
employees to ensure that everyone of our constantly renewing
who works at PayPal can pay their expectations and they will fail.

bills. At a time of anxiety, there’s
not much that matters more. Climate change is the next
apocalyptic event we face, so
n 2020, in a year of turbulence alone was 50%. It’s clear that in Microsoft has become a Top 3 Best sustainability has to become a radical
so seismic in scale and rapid 2020, strong brands have become Global Brand in 2020. It’s CEO, priority for organizations and brands.
in impact that the world is still stronger as a result of the COVID Satya Nadella, argues that in the Microsoft has committed to being
computing the effects, the effect, which has accelerated digital future: “you’ll only have permission carbon negative (not just neutral)
aggregate value of the Top transformation trends, such as cloud- to profit as a business if you have by 2030 (and Shell dropped off the
100 Best Global Brands has based tech and streaming, across the consent of customers.” In this Best Global Brands list this year).
grown by 9%. Their total brand sectors, reinforcing the dominance we see that as people begin to
value exceeds $2 trillion. of technology first brands. hold business to account, choice is Change, once again, is creating
morphing into consent and brands winners and losers and posing
As the pandemic and wider social Crises recast the tacit contract are mediating the commitments a difficult choices. The real question
outrage exposed fault lines in society between organizations and people. business makes to its constituents. may be, are you going to lead from
and polarized people further; we Certainly, we are seeing that now. In this mix brand is still a promise, the future or manage your decline?
see a similar divergence in the Best As rising expectations dissolve into but a promise of something
Global Brands with 43% of brands anxiety, people are demanding deeper. Done right brands offer an
growing, and 57% declining in more of the businesses they buy equilibrium between business and
value (vs 29% declining in 2019). into. There is a growing sense of customer. A set of shared values.
This years’ winners are notable for human disempowerment, a growing Charles Trevail
particularly fast growth; the average awareness of the power of brands, Only 41 brands from our 2000 Global Chief Executive
increase amongst the top 3 brands and consumers are beginning to ranking remain on the table today. Officer, Interbrand

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 3

the storms:
A New Decade
of Possibility

he scale of the current “by historic milestones and
social, economic and discoveries, yes, but also
cultural turmoil seems wrenching upheaval…
unprecedented. Genius flourished under these
conditions… but risk flourished, too.”
But is it?
Gutenberg’s invention of the
Recovering from a widespread printing press (1450s), Columbus’s
plague, in only a few decades discovery of the New World (1492),
between the late 15th and early Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea
16th century, Europe went route to Asia (1497), Copernicus’s
through a tumultuous transition, revolutionary theories of a sun
marked – in the words of Oxford centred cosmos (1510s) and world
professor Ian Goldin – changing artistic, scientific and

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 5

Over the next 100 years we
may be experiencing twenty
thousand years of technological
advancement, changing
substantially the way we live.

equity, inclusion and climate change. depriving us of our normal. Some

Regimes are being challenged. call Covid-19 a black swan, but
to others it’s what author Michele
The power and impact of social Wucker calls a ‘grey rhino’: an event
media is raising crucial questions. that we saw coming but did not get
Economies have seen fortunes ready for. Other grey rhinos loom
change in matters of weeks, and ahead – from new pandemics to
so have industries and businesses, natural disasters to political unrest.
with unexpected risers and The world will not be just post-swan
illustrious fallers. And technology is but, most importantly, pre-rhino.
changing every aspect of our lives:
according to futurist Ray Kurtzweil, Covid-19’s most enduring legacy
over the next one hundred years, will not be facemasks, graffiti and
we may be experiencing twenty social distancing, but the end of
thousand years of technological continuity as the default assumption.
advancement, changing And as murals in cities around
substantially the way we live. the world suggest, perhaps there
will be no going back to normal,
Accelerated by exponential because normal was the issue.
transformation and immediate
propagation, radical change – ideas, As disruption replaces normality,
movements, technologies, growth, we are discovering ourselves
habits – is simply happening at a more vulnerable, restless and
speed and scale never seen before. confused than we could have
technological achievements storms of new renaissance – where As a result, what is relevant ever imagined. Our rising
created immense opportunities – once again human creativity, to us changes instantly and expectations as customers
but, equally, shattered structures, resilience and achievements can dramatically, and in ways that are morphing into something
ignited divisions, and upended create a new decade of possibility. even the most forward-looking deeper and more emotional.
social order, leaving many behind. organisations can only partly As we are all torn between the
From these extreme tensions, There is, however, a major predict or influence. People’s fear of being trampled by the next
a new world emerged. difference. What then took expectations have never been more rhino and the hope of hopping
decades is now happening in unstable and unforeseeable. on its back and seizing new
History doesn’t repeat itself, but it years – or even months. opportunities, one prevailing
often rhymes. If we step back from But change isn’t just faster; sentiment will unite us all well
the immediacy of the current crisis In a short period of time, outrage it’s bumpier, too. beyond the current crisis: Anxiety.
and place it in a broader context, we has sparked movements that are
may find that we are, as Professor driving radical change around What the increasingly frequent A constant tension between
Goldin suggests, navigating the existential issues such as diversity, systemic shocks are doing is fear and hope.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 7

So as uncertainty In conducting this year’s study of the imagination and solve unmet needs,
one hundred most valuable global as well as small acts that show

fuels fear, how can brands, one question emerged as vulnerability, gratitude and empathy.
the keystone of our analysis: what Ultimately, it takes brave leadership

brands build economic is brand’s role in an anxious world? and powerful engagement to find
relevance. Encapsulating and

resilience and individual With an aggregate value of over anticipating the zeitgeist, great
2 trillion dollars, there can be no brands lift us from indifference

confidence? doubt that these brands are now a and make our choices meaningful.
force of macroeconomic magnitude They count us as constituents,
and, most importantly, influence. not just consumers.
Their policies and actions have an
impact no longer just on individual They become anchor points at
choices and nations’ prosperity, times of volatility, sparking desire,
but on our interconnected global delivering utility and building trust.
society – and our planet, too. Leadership, engagement and
relevance reverberate across our
So as uncertainty fuels fear, how can conversations with business leaders
brands build economic resilience across all geographies, sizes and
and individual confidence? industries, as well as in our ongoing
dialogue with their customers. They
Our analysis revealed a chain of are the keys to unlock results in the
three fundamental priorities. current crisis, building customer
confidence and business resilience.
As uncertainty fuels our fear, it
takes courageous leadership to We are only beginning to grasp
create hope. Never like today, we the implications of this inflection
must be driven by perspective, not point, and no organisation will be
immediacy. We need the world’s untouched. For many businesses,
most influential brands to lead what looms ahead is a quest for
from the future, setting a worthy survival and recovery. For others, this
purpose and a powerful ambition is the time to imagine radically new
beyond turbulence and chaos. contracts with their constituents.

Leadership requires engagement. At Abraham Lincoln is credited

times of crisis, brave leaders don’t with saying that the best way to
just commit to a worthy purpose; predict the future is to create it. By
they inspire others to join them on setting out powerful ambitions and
a shared journey. Brands that thrive pursuing them with courage and
in an anxious world foster dialogue, conscience, brands can help us lift
invite co-operation and create a our heads, make sense of chaos,
following. They do this through and see beyond it, championing
iconic moves that capture the a new age of possibility.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 9


a flag in the future

ncertainty makes us
instinctively crunch into
immediacy; a fight-or-
flight survival mode that
deprives us of a broader,
farther reaching view.
The present becomes all-consuming,
and the future feels impenetrable and
threatening. We need leadership.

To thrive in an anxious world,

organisations must know the
way, show the way and go the
way. This require leaders with
the ability step back and see
beyond the chaos, rather than be
blinded by it – and navigate the
changing context with direction,
alignment, agility and empathy.

It all starts with direction.

These organisations start
from their desired future and
work backwards, framing each
immediate challenge as a step on
the road toward that future. Their
brands are consistently shaped by
aspiration, rather than trauma.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 11

“Listen more,
talk less and
be decisive
when the time
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

Many of the fastest growing global it by changing the way people see Tesla’s brand – its flag in the
brands do this by increasingly the brand and, often, the category. future – hasn’t only driven
intertwining three aspects: demand and advocacy from
a long term human truth; a By setting a north star purpose, its inception. It has also built
nearer term business ambition; translating it into a proximate enormous liquidity by attracting
and constant, agile action. ambition, and making ongoing and retaining a loyal following
moves to achieve that ambition, of retail investors. Ultimately, it
Let’s start with the long term. the world’s fastest growing has also forced change in one
Organisations that thrive in businesses are effectively using of the most inertial and largest
uncertainty are inspired and their brands as flags planted in scale industries. Tesla is highly
driven by a clear purpose: a the future – and creating a journey likely to be facing increasing
stance about a deep human that people within and outside of competition going forward, but
truth uniting constituents that the business want to be part of. stands as an exceptional case
acts as a north star. As Wharton of leading from the future with
Professor Americus Reed II In July Tesla (BV $12,785bn) absolute clarity of direction.
notes, some of today’s most overtook Toyota (BV $51,595bn;
effective brands are activists -8% YOY) as the world’s most Fast growing brands are
that happen to make products. valuable car maker – never remarkable in their ability to
mind that it made 370,000 combine that fixed long term
They then activate that purpose cars against Toyota’s 10m and vision with flexible short term
by distilling it into a sharp, a fraction of its revenues. action: direction and agility.
timebound ambition – a proximate, There are industrial drivers behind As the customer mindset and
measurable objective that this performance – most notably, competitive threats change on
everyone in the organisation a significant edge in battery an ongoing basis, the traditional
knows they can potentially achieve technology and software. But these paradigm of research, brand
within a given timeframe. are the results of coherent moves – positioning and communications
innovation, launches, adjacencies is outdated – replaced by a
Lastly, they navigate towards that and, yes, buzz – inspired by a clear clear ambition driving fast-
ambition by making moves that direction: a clear purpose translated paced, highly targeted moves
accelerate the business towards into subsequent industrial targets. borne of experimentation.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 13

When agility as a mindset combines anticipate fast changing priorities
with converging technologies and emotions, correct course
such as artificial intelligence – and move with confidence.
and robotics, sparks fly. Amazon
(BV $200,667bn; + 60% YOY), In Microsoft CEO’s Satya Nadella’s
who invested over $28 billion words, “Listen more, talk less and
on R&D in 2018, is making the be decisive when the time comes.”
very notion of agility exponential.
Powered by real time data, AI and Microsoft’s ($166,001bn; +53%)
machine learning, its moves – from exceptional transformation over
daily, one-to-one interactions the past six years has seen sources
to category changing Iconic of revenue shift dramatically
Moves such as the introduction to a combination of personal
of the Prime membership – are and business software-as-a-
effectively shifting fulfilment service (SaaS) and public cloud
expectations in much of the world. infrastructure and services, with
all three lines generating revenue regarded one of its distinctive
Having a strong sense of direction primarily through recurring drivers – its culture. CEO and co-
is essential to create, restore and subscriptions. The company’s founder Reed Hastings suggests
drive confidence in the future, capitalization has gone well past he spends annually about 25% of
in employees, customers and the trillion dollar valuation. his time on building the alignment
investors alike. However, at a required to support what he
time of anxiety, people may be But behind these results is an describes as Netflix’s culture of
all in the same storm, but not extraordinary cultural shift, context rather than control.
in the same boat – and every underpinned by empathy –
boat seem to rock in different regarded by Nadella as a leadership As discontinuity becomes the
ways. Empathy has never been trait as much as a business priority norm, brands have the opportunity
a more critical component of and an innovation ethos: “Our and the responsibility to show
brand building: it takes an acute core business is connected with leadership beyond their traditional
understanding of customers to the customers’ needs and we role; often supporting, or stepping
will not be able to satisfy them in for, the institutions that are meant
if we don’t have a deep sense to sustain our lives and societies.
of empathy.” says Nadella.
As fear bullies us into confusion,
The reinvention of Microsoft is brand leadership will increasingly
fascinating in many other respects, be about planting a flag in the
but one stands out as a trait of future – and moving towards it
contemporary brand leadership: on a journey that brings together
alignment. Satella’s leadership saw customers, employees, investors
the tearing down of organisational and constituents – borrowing
walls and a transition famously the touchingly beautiful words of
described by CMO Chris Capossela Nelson Mandela, “keeping their
as one “from a culture of know-it- head pointed toward the sun,
alls to a culture of learn-it-alls”. their feet moving forwards.”

Brands have the A lot has been said about

opportunity and the Netflix’s growth ($12,665bn,

+41% YOY) over the past few

responsibility to show months; impressive, but perhaps

unsurprising. It’s more interesting,

leadership beyond their though, to take a step back and

glance at the brand’s growth and

traditional role. evolution over the best part of

two decades and what is widely

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 15


a shared journey

s Harvard Professor
Nancy Koehn points
out, at times of
crisis courageous
leadership is a result
of individual people
committing to work from their
stronger selves, discovering a
mighty purpose – and motivating
others to join their cause.

Brave leadership thrives on

engagement. Through their brands,
the world’s most successful
businesses don’t only plant a flag
in the future – they take people and
organisations on a shared journey.
They do so by making moves that
resonate with our hopes and fears,
and create meaningful innovation
and experiences, shifting our
expectations. Great brands make
us want to be part of their story.

The traditional marketing campaign

playbook, based on defining a
positioning, implementing it and
measuring results, is increasingly
unfit for a volatile environment.
Today, effective brand building is a
continuous process of conversation
and co-creation, leading to
moves that accelerate the brand’s
journey towards its ambition.

Brands that create powerful

engagement in turbulence
share three aspects.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 17

with its customers. This gives it the Coherence is effective to the FOR
confidence to make incremental extentto which it amplifies a brand’s DECADES, THE
moves as well as high profile ones distinctiveness. But as brands lead IMPERATIVE
such as the Trailblazers programme through the scepticism that comes FOR BRANDS
and the Dreamforce events, with chaos, the parameters of WAS TO
ultimately creating customers that distinctiveness are rapidly expanding. CREATE
are evangelists, not just advocates. Traditionally about a brand’s promise CONSISTENCY
and communication, distinctiveness IN VISUAL
Brands such as Glossier and is now shifting towards its delivery ASSETS.
Salesforce exemplify not just the and moves; less of a ‘say’ play, TODAY’S
power of participation, but also the and more of a ‘do’ game. GREATEST
value of coherence. Their moves BRANDS BUILD
align along a single trajectory, each Ultimately, Apple’s (BV $322,999bn COHERENCE
being a milestone in a journey that +38% YOY) distinctiveness – or, IN FEELING.
leads towards their flag in the future. in fact, uniqueness – isn’t a result
of what the brand says, but what
Remember the old marketing it does. It’s Apple’s products,
adage according to which the technologies and stores that speak
three keys to successful branding to the organisation’s philosophy of
were consistency, consistency beautiful simplicity and individual
and consistency? For decades, empowerment – much more than any
the imperative for brands was campaign could ever do. Inasmuch
to create consistency in visual as many talk about the brand’s aura,
assets. Today’s greatest brands Apple has consistently changed
build coherence in feeling. what was in people’s minds by
changing what was in their hands.
As brands are permanently live
across multiple, intertwining virtual But, increasingly, the most effective
and physical platforms, the inside- form of distinctiveness derives
out view of making things look from taking a clear, unequivocal
the same is being replaced by the stance on the fundamental
outside-in view of making people feel issues of our times. A B-Corp,
They are distinctive: they make their peers for inspiration, a popular the same. Coherence today is about Patagonia leads with activism,
moves that rise above the noise blog – Into the Gloss – morphed moves that express in surprising having made its environmental
and shine amidst the confusion. into Glossier, a digital native beauty ways a single worldview and attitude. commitment the keystone of its
They are coherent: their moves are brand powered by constant customer uniqueness. Today, it leads the $12
unified by a single, clear trajectory. feedback and co-creation. One of Perhaps the epitome of this is billion outdoor apparel market.
And they are participative: they Interbrand’s Breakthrough Brands Gucci ($15,675bn, -2% YOY) a
foster an ongoing dialogue with in 2016, it’s valuation five years after brand whose name has become an Times of turbulence breed
their customers, ltimately making launch was 1.2 billion dollars. “[Our urban slang term meaning ‘good’ or movements – a unifying desire for
moves that are meaningful. customers] want things we had ‘awesome’, as in I’m gucci. Varied change. The greatest opportunity
never considered that we should as the brand’s manifestations for brand leaders today is to
Start with participation. Today’s even have any business making,” may be, its eclectic, progressive inspire and the next great journey
hyperconnectivity has transformed said founder Emily Weiss in 2019. and romantic edge runs like a red by finding a distinctive and
the way people and organisations thread across all of them, weaving relevant path, and walking it with
expect to engage with brands: And while participation could be an exciting but coherent story. coherence, inviting participation.
not as unconditionally faithful intuitively seen as being relevant
customers, but as active exclusively to consumer businesses,
constituents – and collaborators. the explosive growth of Salesforce
(BV$10,755bn; +34% YOY) suggests
Take the beauty category. At the otherwise. By listening to customer
time when people no longer wanted communities and celebrating
to be told by a brand or expert how them rather than the product, the
to pull off a full look, but looked to business is in constant conversation

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 19


A sense of belonging

he old normal didn’t
work for everybody.
Gradually, and then
suddenly, we realised it.

Change and turbulence

have sped up our collective re-
appraisal of values, exposing
inequities and laying them bare for all
to see, challenging many to reflect on
their role in the system. The effects of
this collective awakening are visible
in different ways: a thriving protest
culture, a crisis in representation and
government. Social technologies
connect and amplify the outrage
exponentially so that what is relevant
to consumers changes instantly,
dramatically, and unpredictably.

Faced with a rising sense of

powerlessness at the breadth and
depth of the divisions we experience
– no matter which side of the
divide – customers increasingly
demonstrate their stance through
the brands they choose. That, at
least, they can control. So today, as
never before, consumers demand
meaning in their choices, and are

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 21

beginning to see their consumption Presence alone is not enough to payment brands thanks to the work contributing to driving its enduring AND FINALLY,
choices as votes of confidence. create relevance, however. There it has done to mitigate its customers place in the 100 Best Global Brands. A BRAND’S
is much that is present in the concerns around fraud. The brand PRESENCE
In a zeitgeist of anxiety, meaning lives of customers that is there has made huge investments in secure Amidst the current health crisis, AND
starts with presence. Not just being by virtue of habit or convenience, technology to keep consumers’ Starbucks (BV $11,246bn; -5% AFFINITY ARE
there for the sake of being there, not choice. Our analysis shows money safe. At a time of heightened YOY) has made a number of UNDERPINNED
but choosing to be where it matters. that a key aspect of relevance is anxiety and economic uncertainty, moves that have elevated its role BY THE TRUST
Brands with presence are those that that customers feel an affinity to a there’s not much that matters more. in communities, giving substance PEOPLE
are part of the conversation in a way brand - that it plays a meaningful to its will to inspire and nurture the HAVE IN IT.
that makes them an obvious choice role in their lives by aligning to Crises make reputations, and human spirit: from free drinks in the
in their category – the impact of their the same values and priorities. reshape the implicit contract UK for NHS workers to a $10 million
presence goes beyond what they sell, between organisations and people. worldwide fund to support staff, to
transcends platforms, and makes them Affinity is ultimately about sharing As expectations morph into significant relief efforts for farmers.
part of the wider culture. At their best, with customers the same view of anxiety, people demand more of
they use their data to be relevant in what really matters – be it function, brands: trust is quickly gravitating At this inflection point dominated by
ways that are more than commercial. emotion or stance – and being from just a brand delivering on a uncertainty and fluidity, the single
Spotify is a brand whose very unapologetic about it, deliberately promise to an organisation staying most decisive driver of growth for
proposition rests on making music choosing to delight some, and true to its purpose and being brands is relevance – being known,
present in the moments you need alienating others. The most accountable for its actions. chosen and trusted as meaningful
it. By ‘putting the world’s music in influential brands draw clear lines. to their individual customers
your pocket’, it made it possible to Trust today is about the knowledge and constituent communities.
listen to music whenever, wherever. At a time of deep questioning, that, navigating a fast-changing
More recently, through a series of though, the deepest form of affinity context, a business will do the These are divided times; what
strategic partnerships it has increased is and will be increasingly driven right thing and behave with their will be expected of the world’s
its presence across a number of by a brand’s lack of compromise constituents’ interests in mind. most influential brands will be
technologies meaning you can now on fundamental issues. Nike (BV to throw shards of belonging
play Spotify in the background of your $34,388bn; +6% YOY) leads the Back in the 2008 downturn, Hyundai in our daily choices.
favourite games on Xbox. Arguably, cultural zeitgeist with an almost (BV $14,295bn; +1% YOY) famously
however, its Spotify’s clever use of prescient knack for getting it right. committed to taking cars back, no As brands become stories in the
billboards in iconic cities across the More than anything else, the brand questions asked, if customers lost making, the words of Francis Scott
world that has elevated its status in knows which customers it stands their jobs. This act of listening to Fitzgerald echo: “you discover
culture, attracting column inches. for, and which it does not. The Colin customers’ worst fears and insuring that your longings are universal
Drawing on meme culture, and Kaepernick campaign was ahead of against them engendered trust and longings, that you’re not lonely and
bringing to user data to life, the its time in many ways, anticipating a lifelong relationship with the brand, isolated from anyone. You belong.”
brand has participated in cultural the race riots and Black Lives Matter
moments like Valentine’s Day and movement that would follow into
Christmas, mirroring customers back 2020. Divisive, controversial and
at themselves in the very best ways. unequivocally Nike, the campaign
makes it clear what stance the
brand took, sharing in the values of

These are divided times; its core customer group, knowingly

and willingly at odds with others.

what will be expected And finally, a brand’s presence

of the world’s most and affinity are underpinned by

the trust people have in it.

influential brands will Yes, trust has always been a pillar

be to throw shards of of branding in a transactional

way: at heart, the notion of

belonging in our daily delivering on a promise.

choices. In 2020, Paypal ($10,514bn; +38%

YOY) is one of the most trusted

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 23

Brand Strength
in the new decade
of possibility

aving coined the likelihood to generate demand
term ‘branding’, and unlock value in the future.
Interbrand pioneered
brand valuation more Our ongoing in-depth analysis
than thirty years of innumerable brands across
ago, changing the geographies, categories and
way the world thought of brands growth stages has enabled us to
– from trade marks to valuable evolve our proprietary framework
business assets. Soundly based over time, anticipating and
on modern business valuation reflecting the impact of
principles, the foundations of competitive, economic, societal,
our valuation technique remain and technological dynamics
unchanged. Our methodology on brands. This makes Brand
was the first to be awarded the Strength a uniquely powerful,
International Brand Valuation predictive diagnostic tool.
standard ISO 10668 Certification
and our uniquely holistic approach, Brand Strength breaks down what
involves strategists, designers and it takes to build the Leadership,
economists. As such, they make Engagement and Relevance
our approach the gold standard chain by identifying ten mutually
across the global business, exclusive factors, each underpinned
financial, academic communities. by factors metrics. Individually,
Those firm foundations combine each dimension provides granular,
with the evolving factors that make actionable competitive insights.
a brand competitively strong in Together, they consolidate into a
rapidly changing arenas. These single key performance indicator
factors constitute Brand Strength, that expresses the brand’s ability to
our proven proprietary framework drive business results and informs
that determines a brand’s an actionable roadmap for growth.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 25

L2 L3 L4

The degree to which the whole The degree to which the organisation The speed to market that a
organisation is pulling in the same is in tune with customers and wider company demonstrates in the
direction, committed to the brand stakeholders, actively listening to face of opportunity or challenge,
strategy and empowered by systems and anticipating their evolving needs, enabling it to get ahead and
to execute it across the business. beliefs and desires, and responding stay ahead of expectations.
L1 effectively and appropriately.
DIRECTION The shift The shift
A strong brand is the organisation’s The shift Fixed long-term ambition,
The degree to which there is a clear most powerful connective tissue. Data reveals the what. flexible short-term action.
purpose and ambition for the brand, a Dialogue unearths the why.
plan to deliver on them over time, and What this means What this means
a defined culture and values to guide For brand leaders competing in What this means As sectors blur into arenas and
how those plans should be executed. different geographies and arenas, As expectations move faster than brands bloom into ecosystems,
a cohesive culture of clarity and the businesses, creating an ongoing the speed, scale and stakes of
The shift belief becomes the only viable and dialogue with customers and decisions surge exponentially.
It’s no longer just what a brand efficient alternative to control. constituents is critical to make bold Underpinned by agile organisations,
stands for, but where it’s going next. moves with confidence reducing the strongest brands constantly
Widespread clarity around purpose risks and multiplying opportunities. build new business engines,
What this means and ambition create an environment multiplying revenue opportunities.
The very role of companies and the that gives talent motivation and Technologies such as IoT and AI
subservience of profit to purpose latitude, encouraging innovation create enormous amounts of data. As the current crisis has shown,
is central to the economic debate and multiplying opportunities. Organisations that combine this it is possible for entire categories
of our times. Brands led with with a deep human understanding to bottom out at zero revenue
purpose are likelier to make the right The Covid-19 crisis will accelerate of their customers’ mindset create in a matter of weeks. A well-
moves and take the right stances, changes in workplaces, supply the conditions for exponential exercised reinvention muscle is
attracting choice and talent. chains and manufacturing: growth and unfair advantages. critical to mitigate a brand’s risk.
distance will become a defining
Purpose is necessary, but not experience. Brands that act as a Deploying systematic, technology- A well-designed brand governance
sufficient. Translating it into an connective tissue will drive speed enabled customer listening and model with the appropriate
ambition – a timebound, measurable and coherence in decision making. co-creation builds a culture of balance of (de)centralisation
proximate objective - creates focus learning, fostering agility. is often the unsung driver of
and accountability, building investor business performance.
confidence and generating liquidity.

Converging needs, technologies

and competitive arenas make
purpose and ambition the
compass to navigate the
open seas of opportunity.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 27

E1 E2 E3

The existence of uniquely The degree to which customer The degree to which the brand has
ownable signature assets and interactions, whilst varying the ability to draw in customers
experiences that are recognised depending on channel and and partners, create a sense
and remembered by customers context, remain authentic to the of dialogue and encourage
and difficult to replicate. brand’s narrative and feel. involvement and collaboration.

The shift The shift The shift

From what you say to what you do. From a consistent implementation Unlocking the power of collaboration.
to a coherent narrative.
What this means What this means
Communication overload and What this means Hyper-connectivity has changed
enduring uncertainty mean that The strongest brands are not the way people expect to
distinctiveness – traditionally ‘positioned’ – they develop along a interact with organisations – no
pursued chiefly by communicating a clear trajectory – ‘big idea’ platforms longer as passive consumers,
promise – is less about what a brand – that inspires and unites their every but as active constituents.
says, and more about what it does. move, writing a coherent narrative
over time and accelerating the The strongest brands don’t see
While assets and communications achievement of the brand’s ambition. customers as targets or data points,
are still important, the strongest but as partners. They are inspired
brands today grow by making Iconic Bringing a brand to life today by what inspires them – their hopes,
Moves that rise above the noise, is less about touchpoint their dreams, their realities.
turn heads and sway perceptions implementation, and more
– at times changing categories about interaction innovation. With the acceleration, convergence
and creating monopoly windows. and increased sophistication
The expansion from touchpoints of technologies, collaboration
Thinking in terms of moves rather to moves requires brand leaders to is the new currency, enabling
than touchpoints elevates the shift their focus from consistency brands to achieve more, better,
role of brand leadership to an in assets (“does it look the same?”) faster for existing customers –
orchestrator of product innovation, and pursue coherence in feeling as well as providing access to
partnerships, collaborations, new (“does it feel the same?”). new audiences and arenas.
business models, and so forth.
As a result, ensuring the
attribution of diverse interactions
requires the development of
a vocabulary of flexible and
memorable sensorial signatures.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 29

R1 R2 R3

The degree to which a brand feels The extent to which a brand is The degree to which customers
omnipresent to relevant audiences, seen to deliver against the (high) feel a positive connection with the
is talked about positively, and is expectations that customers have of brand, based on the functional and/
easily recalled when a customer has it, is perceived to act with integrity or emotional benefits provided, and/
a need in the brand’s category. and with customers’ interests in mind. or a sense of having shared values.

The shift The shift: The shift

Strong brands lead meaningful Trusted to do right, not just deliver well. Playing a worthwhile role
conversations. in people’s lives.
What this means
What this means The age of surveillance capitalism What this means
With media fragmentation and has created a new asymmetry With fast changing expectations
increasingly sophisticated data, between people and businesses, comes a continuous reassessment
the strongest brands are not with rising concerns around privacy, of what people value and what truly
simply known to many – they are ethics and behavioural modification. matters. At times of great change,
an active and welcome part of The traditional currency of brand the strongest brands build deep
conversations that are relevant trust – satisfaction – is still necessary, relationships by being clear about
to very specific segments. but it is no longer sufficient. the role they play in people’s lives
– from doing a simple job well to
The permission to engage with As ecosystems and platforms helping express who they are.
consumers beyond transactions become increasingly interconnected,
derives from these brands’ ability pervasive and powerful – more As people become communicators
to reframe what they do in the so than many sources of public themselves, they see through
light of what is emotionally or authority – trust starts from communications. The most
functionally relevant to people. acknowledging individuals as effective way of creating affinity
constituents, not merely consumers. is through moves that represent a
At times of crisis, people may commitment on which the business
be in the same storm, but are on With growing transparency, it’s hard is forced to follow through.
different boats. The strongest to unpack people’s trust in a brand,
brands consistently show up with the company or their leadership. Increasingly, affinity comes
the right emotional dress code, Aspects of the business once of from an uncompromising stance
showing a deep understanding little interest to the public are now on the issues of our times,
of their audience’s reality. an integral part of consumers’ sustained by tangible moves
conversations and judgment.
Following the current disruption,
the journey for many brands
will be to make their presence
context agnostic.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 31


he 100 Best Global
Brands is a two-track
table in 2020 with 43%
of brands growing, and
57% declining in value
(vs 29% declining
in 2019). This years’ winners are
notable for particularly fast growth;
the average increase amongst the
top 3 brands alone was 50%.

It’s clear that in 2020, strong brands

have become stronger as a result
of the COVID effect, which has
accelerated digital transformation
trends, such as cloud-based tech
and streaming, across sectors,
reinforcing the dominance of
technology first brands. Average
brand growth across the grid is 14%
but in technology it’s 20%. The top
three brands are tech brands and
they grew an average of 50%.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 33

potify, Netflix and
Amazon are among the
biggest risers in ranking
amid global COVID-19 01 02 03 04 05

Biggest Risers
lockdowns. Notably,
however, Microsoft
has also entered the top three.

The fastest risers in 2020 (brands
experiencing double digit % growth)
+38% +60% +53% -1% +2%
significantly outperformed other
322,999 $m 200,667 $m 166,001 $m 165,444 $m 62,289 $m
brands on three Brand Strength
factors - Empathy, Agility and Affinity. 06 07 08 09 10
Amazon 60% growth
Microsoft 53% growth
Spotify 52% growth Behind Microsoft’s incredible
Netflix 41% growth transformation is an extraordinary
Adobe 41% growth
PayPal 38% growth cultural shift, underpinned by
Apple 38% growth empathy – regarded by Nadella
-10% -8% -3% -6% -8% 34% growth as a leadership trait as much as a
Nintendo 31% growth 56,894 $m 51,595 $m 49,268 $m 42,816 $m 40,773 $m
MasterCard 17% growth
business priority and an innovation
ethos, he connects the core of the 11 12 13 14 15
Technology business with customers’ needs
Business Service
through a deep sense of empathy.
Financial Service
Electronics Amazon, who invested over $28
billion on R&D in 2018, is making
-4% -8% -12% -14% +6%
agility exponential. Powered by real-
39,756 $m 36,971 $m 35,178 $m 34,885 $m 34,388 $m
time data, AI and machine learning,
its moves – from daily, one-to-one 16 17 18 19 20
interactions to category changing
Iconic Moves such as the introduction
of the Prime membership – are
effectively shifting fulfilment
expectations in much of the world.
-4% -2% +12% New -11%
34,119 $m 31,720 $m 28,011 $m 26,060 $m 21,694 $m
Spotify has developed deep
affinity with customers. From 21 22 23 24 25
its proposition, which promises
to put the world’s music in your
pocket, to its partnerships with
platforms that are central to culture
(mobile networks, gaming devices)
-4% +6% -10% +6% +3%
perhaps its most iconic move is
21,203 $m 20,220 $m 19,458 $m 19,161 $m 18,870 $m
using its customer data to tell
stories about how its embedded
in the emotional and social lives
of customers around the world.

Also of note: more than half of the

top growing brands have significant
subscription model businesses.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 35

020 sees three new
entrants and two re-
entrants in 2020. The new 26 27 28 29 30

New Entrants
entrants mirror the overall
trend of a fractured society,
in which we see huge

uptake of brands that are designed
to connect us. Furthermore, they
-9% +41% +0% -30% New
reflect the wider trend of the table,
18,603 $m 18,206 $m 17,961 $m 17,961 $m 17,328 $m
the growth of which has primarily
been driven by technology brands. 31 32 33 34 35

Social media and communication

brands -have fared exceptionally
well in the past 12 months, with
Instagram (#19), YouTube (#30) and
+2% -2% -3% -4% -13%
Zoom (#100) entering the rankings
16,552 $m 15,675 $m 15,606 $m 15,073 $m 14,862 $m
for the first time. Zoom’s market
capitalization has risen 389% in 36 37 38 39 40
12 months. Its revenue is up 270%
in the first half of the year and its
brand has enjoyed enormous growth
thanks to the accelerating digital
transformation in consumers working
+1% -14% +2% +7% New
lives. Instagram and Youtube have
14,295 $m 14,008 $m 13,900 $m 12,935 $m 12,785 $m
entered the rank this year thanks
to improved financial reporting 41 42 43 44 45
from Facebook and Alphabet.

Tesla has also re-entered the

rankings at #40, having last
appeared in the Best Global Brands
+41% -12% +8% -2% +15%
table in 2017. Tesla’s market
12,665 $m 12,568 $m 12,553 $m 12,428 $m 12,397 $m
capitalization has risen 769% in 12
months, its revenue has risen 10% 46 47 48 49 50
in six months and the production
launch of the futuristic Cybertruck,
as well as the launch of connected
services and plans to roll out a “Tesla
Network” of self-driving “robo-
+2% -5% +3% +7% +1%
taxis,” has cemented the brand
12,277 $m 12,267 $m 12,211 $m 12,129 $m 12,070 $m
with its core customer group.

Johnnie Walker also re-enters

in 2020. Though its market
capitalization was affected by
COVID-19 it remains a highly
distinctive brand, with a newly
updated visual identity

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 37

51 52 53 54 55 76 77 78 79 80

+14% -6% +0% -16% -3% +31% -16% +3% -1% -9%
12,010 $m 11,936 $m 11,671 $m 11,578 $m 11,301 $m 7,296 $m 6,654 $m 6,563 $m 6,379 $m 6,301 $m

56 57 58 59 60 81 82 83 84 85

-5% +17% +34% -8% +38% +5% -1% -1% -14% -6%
11,246 $m 11,055 $m 10,755 $m 10,553 $m 10,514 $m 6,289 $m 6,288 $m 5,988 $m 5,855 $m 5,844 $m

61 62 63 64 65 86 87 88 89 90

+2% +4% +8% -14% -11% -9% +1% -2% -9% +8%
10,512 $m 10,340 $m 10,252 $m 10,118 $m 9,740 $m 5,830 $m 5,764 $m 5,520 $m 5,367 $m 5,210 $m

66 67 68 69 70 91 92 93 94 95

-8% +4% +6% +8% +52% -3% -7% -13% -7% -10%
9,547 $m 9,409 $m 9,345 $m 8,865 $m 8,389 $m 5,123 $m 5,111 $m 5,077 $m 4,966 $m 4,965 $m

71 72 73 74 75 96 97 98 99 100

-15% +9% -9% -12% +5% -13% -8% New -6% New
8,057 $m 7,535 $m 7,494 $m 7,474 $m 7,367 $m 4,942 $m 4,809 $m 4,555 $m 4,495 $m 4,481 $m

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 39

nterbrand’s brand valuation
methodology seeks to provide
a rich and insightful analysis of

your brand, providing a clear
picture of how your brand is
contributing to business growth
today, together with a road map of
activities to ensure that it is delivering
even further growth tomorrow.

Having pioneered brand valuation in

1988, we have a deep understanding
of the impact a strong brand has on
key stakeholder groups that influence
the growth of your business, namely
(current and prospective) customers,
employees, and investors. Strong
brands influence customer choice
and create loyalty; attract, retain,
and motivate talent; and lower
the cost of financing. Our brand
valuation methodology has been
specifically designed to take all
of these factors into account.

Interbrand was the first company

to have its methodology certified
as compliant with the requirements
of ISO 10668 (requirements for
monetary brand valuation) and
Financial Data: played a key role in the development
of the standard itself. There are
three key components to all of
Refinitiv, company annual our valuations: an analysis of the
reports, investor presentations financial performance of the branded
and analyst reports products or services, the role the
brand plays in purchase decisions,
and the brand’s competitive
Social Media Analysis: strength. For a more in-depth view,
Text Analytics and Social visit
Listening by Infegy

Consumer Goods Data:

GlobalData (brand
volumes and values)

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 41


Leadership Engagement Relevance

Factors Direction Distinctiveness Presence

The degree to which there is a clear The existence of uniquely The degree to which a brand feels
purpose and ambition for the brand, a ownable signature assets and omnipresent to relevant audiences,
plan to deliver on them over time, and experiences that are recognised is talked about positively, and is
a defined culture and values to guide and remembered by customers easily recalled when a customer has
how those plans should be executed. and difficult to replicate. a need in the brand’s category.

Alignment Coherence Trust

The degree to which the whole The degree to which customer The extent to which a brand is
organisation is pulling in the same interactions, whilst varying seen to deliver against the (high)
direction, committed to the brand depending on channel and expectations that customers have of
strategy and empowered by systems context, remain authentic to the it, is perceived to act with integrity
to execute it across the business. brand’s narrative and feel. and with customers’ interests in mind.

Empathy Participation Affinity

The degree to which the organisation The degree to which the brand has The degree to which customers
is in tune with customers and wider the ability to draw in customers feel a positive connection with the
stakeholders, actively listening to and partners, create a sense brand, based on the functional and/
and anticipating their evolving needs, of dialogue and encourage or emotional benefits provided, and/
beliefs and desires, and responding involvement and collaboration. or a sense of having shared values.
effectively and appropriately.

The speed to market that a
company demonstrates in the
face of opportunity or challenge,
enabling it to get ahead and
stay ahead of expectations.

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 43

Enter the New Join us for one
of the following
As uncertainty fuels our fear, it
takes courageous leadership to

Decade of
create hope. Never like today, we

workshops must be driven by perspective,

not immediacy. Join us to assess
how your brand can lead from the
future. Use the time to set a worthy

Possibility with
purpose and a powerful ambition
beyond turbulence and chaos.


Map how to inspire your customers
to join you on a shared journey.
Map how to foster dialogue, invite
cooperation, create a following.

Imagine your brand’s first iconic
move that captures imaginations
and solves unmet needs.

How to mobilize to capture and
anticipate the zeitgeist, to create
meaning among consumers.
How to enrol your customers as
active participants, constituents,
not just consumers.

Immerse in Interbrand’s manifesto
for the new decade of possibility.
Examine the opportunities for your
organisation to create resilience
as we enter a period of turbulence,
discontinuity and possibility.

Gonzalo Brujó
Global Chief Growth Officer

Best Global Brand 2020 Report 45