Most valuable brands 2021

10 Most Valuable Brands in the World for 2021

Money really does talk. Despite an unprecedented economic decline over the past 12 months, the world’s most valuable brands have continued to rake in the cash, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. Market research and equity database Kantar BrandZ has revealed the 10 most valuable brands in the world for 2021 and it’s big tech that has come out on top. While you’d expect to see high-fashion houses and luxury carmakers adorn the higher placings, this year strengthened the new age of technology, with global brands Amazon and Facebook coming out on top. So how much are the big wigs really worth?

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Apple q3 results 2

The World at Large

When the world was plunged into lockdown in 2020, uncertainty reigned supreme. With physical retailers forced to shut up and consumer confidence on the decline, brands suffered a major hit to their bottom lines. Fast-forward 12 months and the economic recovery is in full force as the world transitions to relative normality. Naturally, some businesses have bounced back faster than others. In fact, while the ripple effects of COVID-19 are still being felt, some companies have managed to thrive amid the chaos.


For over a decade, Kantar Brandz has compiled the most valuable brand report using data collected from various sources, including public domain and valuation estimates, the organisation outlines the key performance metrics that align with overall value. The equation is:

  • A brand’s total financial value, which is the financial contribution that brand brings to its parent company ($ value).
  • Multiplied by its proportional value, measured by the brand’s proportional impact on its parent company’s sales (% value).

From there, Kantar BrandZ combines these financial results with quantitative survey data, sourced from over 170,000 global consumers. The end result is a holistic look at a company’s brand equity, reputation, and ability to generate value. Importantly, brand value is not an indication of market value, which for a number of major companies, is closely linked to share price. For example, Apple has a market value of USD$2.4 trillion, while its brand value equates to USD$612 billion, based on the Kantar BrandZ methodology.

1 most valuable brands 2021

How Companies Grow in 2021

While 2021 marked a welcomed return to regular spending for many of the world’s largest regions, some companies fared better than others. Diving into the report, with the help of Visual Capitalist, some key aspects can be identified as major contributors to brand value growth.

  • Giants become titans – In 2021, we saw the big get bigger. As growth rate is closely correlated with high brand equity, a strong brand will likely see more growth than a weaker brand. This would explain why brands such as Apple continue to hold strong at the top of the list.
  • Marketing push – In 2021, companies that have pulled at the heartstrings have seen the greatest brand value growth. For example, Nike’s video “For Once, Just Don’t Do It” urged consumers to stand up for equality, result in a huge boost in consumer perception.
  • Investment – While marketing will bring new customers to the fold, investment is where the key value is built. Brands that look to the future and invest in technology have seen the strongest returns in 2021.

Most Valuable Brands 2021


1. Amazon

After an incredible second-half to 2020, consumer goods retailer Amazon capitalised on its profits by branching out into other avenues. In 2021 alone, Amazon has seen its value grow by 64%, thanks to increased awareness and adoption of its web and subscription services. This marks the third successive year that the e-commerce titan has topped the list of the world’s most valuable brands.

Brand value: USD$683.86 billion
Category: Consumer Goods & Retail
Change: 64% increase


2. Apple

The world’s biggest brand by market value, Apple slipped into second place on the brand value scale, falling just short of Amazon with a brand value figure of USD$612 billion. Importantly, the technology company wasn’t completely immune to the pandemic, suffering a 19% dip in stock price earlier this year. A record-breaking revenue result in Q4, however, generated a whopping USD$64.7 billion for Apple, more than enough to propel the brand into second place.

Brand value: USD$612 billion
Category: Technology
Change: 74% increase


3. Google

Continuing the theme of big tech frontrunners, Google also had a solid year in the brand value stakes. Noting a 42% increase from this time last year, the world’s most used search engine delivered a strong performance that aligned with an increase in at-home work and development.

Brand value: USD$458 billion
Category: Media & Entertainment
Change: 42% increase


4. Microsoft

In 2021, Microsoft’s global brand value exceeded USD$400 billion for the first time. The company managed to grow this figure by around 42% on the previous year, thanks to a steady corporate culture that eased market concerns during an uncertain period.

Brand value: USD$410.27 billion
Category: Business Solutions & Tech Providers
Change: 26% increase


5. Tencent

Shenzhen-based Tencent earned a top-five spot on the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands 2021, marking the second time the brand has made the list in three years. According to Kantar BrandZ, the technology company’s brand value increased by 60 per cent year on year, outpacing the average growth of 42 per cent of the top 100 global brands.

“The three cores of Tencent are technology, culture and responsibility. We will adapt our products and services to create new social values and make technological breakthroughs,” Tencent vice president Cheng Wu said.

Brand value: USD$240.93 billion
Category: Media & Entertainment
Change: 60% increase


6. Facebook

Facebook recorded the highest result for a social media enterprise in 2021, with a brand value figure of USD$226.74 billion. The top-six placing comes just days after recent issues surrounding whistleblowers and a global outage saw the stock fall dramatically.

Brand value: USD$226.74 billion
Category: Media & Entertainment
Change: 54% increase


7. Alibaba

A perennial top-place finisher in the most valuable brands in Asia list, Jack Ma’s Alibaba has continued to make serious bank globally. While the consumer goods retailer failed to match the growth rate of some of the other brands on the list, its brand value is nearing USD$200 billion for the first time.

Brand value: USD$196.91 billion
Category: Consumer Goods & Retail
Change: 29% increase


8. Visa

With a marginal growth of just 2% this year, Visa didn’t exactly capitalise on the pandemic, but considering the falls in consumer confidence in the early part of the year, it’s still a solid result. Most importantly, Visa ranked two spots higher than its competitor Mastercard.

Brand value: USD$191.29 billion
Category: Financial Services
Change: 2% increase


9. McDonald’s

The only food and beverage provider to make the top ten in this year’s most valuable brands list, fast food icon McDonald’s noted a 20% increase in value, up to USD$154.92 billion. Similar to Nike, McDonald’s spent big on advertising this year, capitalising on lockdowns and at-home options. McDonald’s reported spending roughly USD650 million on advertising worldwide in 2020.

Brand value: USD$154.92 billion
Category: Food & Beverages
Change: 20% increase


10. Mastercard

A major player in the financial services market, Mastercard saw a similarly subdued growth rate to competitor Visa. The brand increased its value by 4%, up to USD$112.88 billion.

Brand value: USD$112.88 billion
Category: Financial Services
Change: 4% increase

Visual capitalist most valuable brands 2021

Image: Visual Capitalist

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General FAQs

What is the most valuable brand in the world?

According to the latest data from Kantar BrandZ, the most valuable brand in the world for 2021 is Amazon. The consumer goods and retail company has an estimated brand value of USD$683.85 billion.

How much is Apple worth?

As of August 2021, Apple's share price is $146.95, giving the company a current market capitalisation of USD$2.429 trillion.

How much is Amazon worth?

As of September 2021, Amazon's share price gives the company a current market capitalisation of USD$1.7 trillion.

Nick Hall

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is an award-winning journalist and the current Editor-in-Chief of Man of Many. With an extensive background in the media industry, he specialises in feature writing, lifestyle and entertainment content. Nick is the reigning Mumbrella Publish Awards ‘Editor of the Year’ and B&T ‘Best of the Best - Journalist’, courtesy of his work with Man of Many.

Prior to working at the men’s lifestyle publication, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting.