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The Most Valuable Retail Brand Is...



Brand Finance has just put the finishing touches on its annual report on the world’s most valuable retail brand.
It’s a little surprise which name is at the top of the charts: that brand is Amazon - and it may not be done growing just yet, as WWD shares.

For its report, Brand Finance factors several different metrics into its proprietary formula. Among the areas carefully examined are corporate reputation, familiarity in the market, loyalty, staff satisfaction, and marketing investment. As applied to Amazon, the formula says its brand grew a staggering 53 percent last year to reach a whopping $106.4 billion. Amazon is expected to keep growing as well, specifically via grocery service AmazonFresh, and that should result in its brand becoming even more valuable.

Brand Finance

“Amazon has stated it will create 100,000 jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months. Such confidence suggests that Amazon may well become the most valuable brand in the world in 2018,” the report reads in part. 

Coming in behind Amazon in second place is Walmart, while Alibaba Group occupies third place. The Chinese online marketplace’s brand also had a banner year, as it rose by 94 percent to check in at $34.8 billion. 

“Alibaba’s brand value has nearly doubled, making it this year’s fastest-growing retail brand,” the report touts. “Its service has clearly underpinned brand value growth at home, but to accelerate growth abroad by adding brand recognition, it is investing in marketing communications including joining McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Visa as a primary sponsor of the Olympics Games.”

One standout in the Top 50 that is clearly on the upward trajectory is TJ Maxx, whose brand has grown an eye-popping 79 percent over the past year to reach $5.6 billion. “A stronger trend for cost consciousness in western markets, originally initiated by the financial crisis, has been sustained even as the economy has recovered. T.J. Maxx’s reputation for exceptional value is key to its success and consumers’ affinity for its brand. However, just as significant is the fact that it is a gateway to the world’s most powerful and desired apparel brands for a vast swathe of consumers who could otherwise not afford them,” according to the report. 

Brand Finance also composes a similar report for clothing brands. This year, Nike, H&M, and Zara took down the top three spots, and Marc Jacobs was noted as a brand to watch due to its impressive growth. “This is attributed in part to its recent restructure which involved folding its widely distributed ‘diffusion’ collection Marc x Marc Jacobs into its main line to offer a broad range of products under a single unified brand in an attempt to move upmarket and fortify the brand name of each collection. If the restructure proves successful, the luxury apparel’s brand value will continue to rise,” the report said. 

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