Technology companies commanded the top slots in this year’s global brand strength index, with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Samsung clinching the top five positions.

The index,100 Best Global Brands 2021, released by brand consultancy firm Intrabrand shows that top brands are now worth more than Sh290 trillion.

“Top 100 brands are now valued at Sh299 trillion up 15 percent from 2020 – the highest ever growth rate in the 22-year history of our rankings,” said Interbrand.

World’s top brand Apple saw a 26 percent rise in brand valuation, hitting Sh45.7 trillion while Amazon’s brand value rose by 24 percent to Sh27.9 trillion since October 2020.

Third placed Microsoft went up to Sh23.5 trillion in brand valuation, a 24 percent rise from last year while Google’s valuation jumped to Sh22trillion, 19 percent more than last year.

Fifth placed Samsung has a brand value of Sh8.3 trillion, achieving a 20 percent increase compared to 2020.

Thanks to its strong financial performance, which has recovered to reach pre-pandemic levels, Samsung’s brand value grew twice the average brand value growth rate among the top 100 brands in 2021.

Since entering the top five for the first time last year, the global electronics manufacturer has maintained its position for two consecutive years with its largest increase in brand value since 2013.

“The average brand value increase in 2021 is 10 percent, significantly larger than the 1.3 percent in 2020, owed largely to the economic disruption caused by Covid-19. Technology is the fastest growing sector, with an average brand value change of 23 percent year-on-year. It is also the most valuable sector by average brand value, followed by beverages and sporting goods,” states the study.

According to Interbrand, major factors that played a critical role in Samsung’s growth include its transition to a customer-centric management system, highlighted by the establishment of a new customer experience team dedicated to prioritizing customer experience and values.

“Its ongoing efforts for sustainable development, including various campaigns guided by its CSR vision, ‘Together for Tomorrow! Enabling People,’ as well as company-wide initiatives that promote sustainability, such as the use of eco-packaging for TVs and the Galaxy Upcycling programme, The launches of innovative products including the Galaxy Z Foldable series, Neo QLEDs, and the Bespoke line-up of home appliances,” said the survey.

Samsung Electronics Vice President for Central Africa Jung Hyun Park said the company has been leading the development of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, automotive, and robotics through consistent investment.

“It is very encouraging to see Samsung reach the top five in the world last year and then achieve enormous double-digit growth this year—our biggest leap in brand value since 2013,” he said.

“We promise to leverage our customer-centric management model to keep listening to our customers. This is how we will repay the massive support we have received from customers in Kenya, the East African region and around the globe.”

Interbrand evaluates businesses’ brand value based on a comprehensive analysis of multiple factors including financial performance, brand influence on purchase, and brand competitiveness.

Samsung Electronics was also ranked No.1 by Forbes as the World’s Best Employers 2021 for the second consecutive year.

As a global organisation with employees and businesses around the world, Samsung has, once again, been chosen as the number one employer.

Other tech brands that made the top 100 Interbrand list are Tesla, Facebook, Huawei, Uber, Zoom, LinkedIn, Fedex, Spotify, Siemens, Philips, eBay, Mastercard, Sony, Netflix, YouTube, SAP, Adobe, Instagram, IBM, Intel and Cisco.  

Following its re-entry to the table last year, Tesla (position 14) was the fastest growing brand of 2021, with an unprecedented 184 percent increase in brand value.

Tesla also saw the largest rise in rankings, moving 26 places up the table, closely followed by Salesforce.com (moving up 20 places to position 38) and PayPal which moved up 18 places to position 42.

 “Sephora (position 100) is the only new entrant to the rankings this year, but its addition makes LVMH Group the biggest group entity in the table. LVMH group is the first to have five brands in the Best Global Brands table – Sephora, Louis Vuitton (position 13), Dior ( position 77), Tiffany & Co. (position 92) and Hennessy (position 95).”

The global research firm has dubbed this decade the “Decade of Possibilities” and asked brands to continue innovating and growing their brands by understanding the needs of their customers and pacing them first.

“As we continue in the Decade of Possibility, many of the Best Global Brands are actively expanding their possibilities by driving decisive innovation, developing more efficient business models, and taking uncompromising stances,” said Gonzalo Brujo, Global President, Interbrand.

Charles Trevail, Global CEO at Interbrand said direction, agility and participation are the three key themes driving brand growth over the past year.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the constantly evolving business landscape, employee buy-in, adapting to change and a strong customer base have helped certain brands to thrive,” he said.