Amazon dethrones Google as top global brand: survey

The leading brands have embraced ‘disruptive’ business models to beat traditional rivals in the technology, finance and retail sectors. (Reuters)
Updated 11 June 2019

Amazon dethrones Google as top global brand: survey

  • The brand value of Amazon surged by 52 percent to $315 billion
  • Brand value on the key survey is calculated on the basis of the companies’ financial performance and their standing among consumers across the globe

LONDON: US retail giant Amazon has moved past hi-tech titans Apple and Google to become the world’s most valuable brand, a key survey showed Tuesday.
The brand value of Amazon surged by 52 percent to $315 billion, global market research agency Kantar said in its 2019 100 Top BrandZ report.
Amazon jumped from third to first place to eclipse Google — which slid from first to third place with Apple holding on to the second spot.
The Seattle-based retail behemoth, founded by Jeff Bezos in his garage in 1994, topped the table thanks to key acquisitions, superior customer services and a disruptive business model, Kantar said in a statement.
“Amazon’s smart acquisitions, that have led to new revenue streams, excellent customer service provision and its ability to stay ahead of its competitors by offering a diverse ecosystem of products and services, have allowed Amazon to continuously accelerate its brand value growth,” said Kantar.
The agency, which is owned by British advertising group WPP, added that Amazon showed “little sign” of any slowdown in its growth.
The top ten companies were once again dominated by US firms, with Apple on $309.5 billion, Google on $309 billion and Microsoft on $251 billion.
Payments specialist Visa had the fifth biggest value at almost $178 billion, while social networking group Facebook was the sixth largest at nearly $159 billion.
For the first time, Alibaba beat Tencent to become the most valuable Chinese brand.
E-commerce leader Alibaba was the seventh biggest at $131.2 billion, up two places on the previous year.
Internet giant Tencent fell three spots to stand at number eight with a value of $130.9 billion.
In a sign of Asia’s growing importance, 23 of the top 100 brands were Asian — including 15 from China.
The leading brands have embraced “disruptive” business models to beat traditional rivals in the technology, finance and retail sectors.
“Amazon’s phenomenal brand value growth of almost $108 billion in the last year demonstrates how brands are now less anchored to individual categories and regions,” said Doreen Wang, Kantar’s global head of BrandZ.
“The boundaries are blurring as technology fluency allow brands, such as Amazon, Google and Alibaba, to offer a range of services across multiple consumer touchpoints.
“Using their consumer experience and expertise, these brands are crossing over into the business services sector, creating new opportunities for brand growth.
“Disruptive ecosystem models are flourishing in regions such as Asia, where consumers are more technology-enabled and where brands are integrating themselves into every aspect of people’s daily lives.”
Brand value on the key survey is calculated on the basis of the companies’ financial performance and their standing among consumers across the globe.


OPEC sees small 2020 oil deficit even before latest supply cut

Updated 12 December 2019

OPEC sees small 2020 oil deficit even before latest supply cut

  • OPEC keeps its 2020 economic and oil demand growth forecasts steady and is more upbeat about the outlook

LONDON: OPEC on Wednesday pointed to a small deficit in the oil market next year due to restraint by Saudi Arabia even before the latest supply pact with other producers takes effect, suggesting a tighter market than previously thought.

In a monthly report, OPEC said demand for its crude will average 29.58 million barrels per day (bpd) next year. OPEC pumped less oil in November than the average 2020 requirement, having in previous months supplied more.

The report retreats further from OPEC’s initial projection of a 2020 supply glut as output from rival producers such as US shale has grown more slowly than expected. This will give a tailwind to efforts by OPEC and partners led by Russia to support the market next year.

OPEC kept its 2020 economic and oil demand growth forecasts steady and was more upbeat about the outlook.

“On the positive side, the global trade slowdown has likely bottomed out, and now the negative trend in industrial production seen in 2019 is expected to reverse in 2020,” the report said.

Oil prices were steady after the report’s release, trading near $64 a barrel, below the level some OPEC officials have said
they favor.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, have since Jan. 1 implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to support the market. At meetings last week, OPEC+ agreed to a further cut of 500,000 bpd from Jan. 1 2020.

The report showed OPEC production falling even before the new deal takes effect.

In November, OPEC output fell by 193,000 bpd to 29.55 million bpd, according to figures the group collects from secondary sources, as Saudi Arabia cut supply.

Saudi Arabia told OPEC it made an even bigger cut in supply of over 400,000 bpd last month. The Kingdom had boosted production in October after attacks on its oil facilities in September briefly more than halved output.

The November production rate suggests there would be a 2020 deficit of 30,000 bpd if OPEC kept pumping the same amount and other factors remained equal, less than the 70,000 bpd surplus implied in November’s report and an excess of over 500,000 bpd seen in July. OPEC and its partners have been limiting supply since 2017, helping to revive prices by clearing a glut that built up in 2014 to 2016. But higher prices have also boosted US shale and other rival supplies.

In the report, OPEC said non-OPEC supply will grow by 2.17 million bpd in 2020, unchanged from the previous forecast but 270,000 less than initially thought in July as shale has not grown as quickly as first thought.

“In 2020, non-OPEC supply is expected to see a continued slowdown in growth on the back of decreased investment and lower drilling activities in US tight oil,” OPEC said, using another term for shale.