Tech Brand Values Shuffle Amid Scrutiny, Amazon Takes Top Spot

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Amazon has surged ahead to take the number one spot in the most recently reported BrandZ ranking of the top 100 global companies in terms of brand value, displacing long-time holders Google and Apple from their top positions. The brand’s 52-percent growth to around $315.505 billion seems to impact Google more than Apple, which held onto its second place position with value growth of just three percent.

Google fell in at a brand value of $309 billion, up by two percent from 2018’s ranking. But it fell two full positions to take the third spot — ending the back and forth shuffle between Apple and Google, which have duked it out in the top two since 2007.

This marks the first time Amazon has been ranked first in the listing, following years of rivalry between three top companies and Amazon’s business expanding in several directions both in and out of the retail space.


Aside from Amazon's move to the top, Xiaomi and Dell Technologies were added to the list for the first time this year. The latter company came in with $18.486 billion in brand value, placing all the way down in position 81 compared to Xiaomi's place in spot 74 with $19.805 billion in brand value.

Results showcase tumultuous year for Huawei and Google

Google's fall from the number two spot showcases the difficult year Google has had in terms of meeting regulatory requirements and several sizeable PR debacles stemming from both its primary business and YouTube.

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The search giant has faced rapidly increasing scrutiny focused on its handling of consumer data, practices related to user control over their personal information and how the company uses that, and anti-competitive practices. The heat has come from governments both local to the U.S.-headquartered tech giant and abroad.

Amazon has faced some scrutiny of its own but has not been as big a player in areas where worries are on the rise about consumer data protection.

On the mobile side of things, Huawei grew from its previous 48th position to number 47 with an eight percent increase in brand value to just over $26.9 billion while Samsung fell five full positions to 38th. That's due to a six percent decrease in brand value from 2018.


The Chinese smartphone manufacturer had expected to overtake Samsung in terms of mobile sales and by other metrics in 2019 but that doesn't seem as though it's likely to happen. Samsung still holds strong at a brand value just shy of $30.37 billion despite some downturn in its overall ranking.

A lot of that could easily be chalked up to recent circumstances surrounding Huawei as a trade battle between Eastern and Western powers rages, pitting the company against the U.S. government. Among the most damaging events for Huawei has been a temporary ban on the company instituted by the U.S. government, ending partnerships between the company and U.S. companies.

Some of that cooperation has rebounded with a temporary reprieve offered by regulatory agencies within the country but Huawei is also presently scrambling to build its own mobile ecosystem and supply chain. The situation is undoubtedly slowing its growth as a brand since smartphones and networking equipment business affected by concerns surrounding the company are its most important market holdings.


The bulk of Huawei's troubles have begun to really peak in 2019 and it could suffer on next year's ranking as a result.

The tech shuffle continues throughout the list

Other big companies in the top ten placements include Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T, and Chinese Amazon competitor Alibaba.


Microsoft kept is fourth place position despite a brand value increase from last year of 25-percent while Facebook held its sixth-place position in spite of a two percent drop following more than a year of controversy. The embattled social media and tech company was valued at nearly $160 billion. AT&T saw a two percent value growth rate and stayed in the tenth spot.

Alibaba may be the biggest story in the top ten places due to its similar growth to its top competitor at number one, Amazon. The company’s growth fell in at 16-percent and it rose from the ninth position up to the seventh. Similarly, in the top 100 companies, Facebook’s own Instagram seems to present the largest threat to its parent company, with a growth rate of 95-percent and a leap from position 91 to 44 over the past year.