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What are the most valuable global brands? Two are from Europe

What are the world's most valuable brands?
What are the world's most valuable brands? Copyright Canva/Maxiphoto
Copyright Canva/Maxiphoto
By James ThomasDoloresz Katanich
Published on Updated
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US companies dominate the global top 20 list, which features just two businesses from one European country.

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Amazon has been crowned the world's biggest brand in 2023, standing at an estimated value of $299.28 billion (€273.49 billion) despite dropping $51 billion over the past year.

In a study published by financial analysis outlet TradingPedia on Tuesday, the US e-commerce giant climbed the ranking to leapfrog last year's top dog Apple, which lost 16% of its value down to $297.51 billion.

Google came in third, increasing its worth by almost $18 billion since last year to reach $231.38 billion.

The US is by far the most represented country in the ranking's top 20, making up half of the companies listed for a combined worth of about $1.5 trillion. The largest non-US company is South Korean tech company Samsung, coming in sixth place at $99.66 billion.

Europe only features twice in the top 20, in both instances thanks to Germany: Deutsche Telekom's value of $62.93 billion put it in 11th place, while luxury vehicle company Mercedez-Benz is 16th at $58.8 billion.

Yet despite having a limited showing in the top 20, European countries and companies feature heavily in TradingPedia's wider study.

The outlet found that only 30 out of 195 countries have brands in the global top 500 list, and almost half of them (14) are European.

Check out our interactive map to find out what the most valuable brand is from European countries featured in the TradingPedia report: 

A handful of countries have a monopoly on big brands

Very few countries seem to be able to produce big brands in any kind of volume, according to TradingPedia.

It found that there are only 20 nations with more than three brands in the top 500: the US, South Korea, China, Germany, Japan, the UK, Saudi Arabia, India, France, Canada, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Russia, the UAE, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, Brazil, and the Netherlands.

The US and China are the clear frontrunners on the world stage, accounting for 202 and 79 of the top 500 brands, respectively. When looking at the top 100, more than half (53) are from the US and 22 are from China.

Germany has seven brands in the top 100, followed by Japan with six, South Korea with four and the UK with three.

Forget brands - what are the biggest industries?

When looking at industries as a whole, banking dominates when considering the number of brands in each sector, according to TradingPedia: around 14.2% of all brands in the top 500 are banking and financial services companies, while 10% are in retail.

However, when looking at overall value, technology and retail come out on top, with tech brands representing around 13.4% of the total value of the top 500 companies and retail brands 13.2%.

Not every country has the capacity to give rise to a major brand, and larger economies tend to have an advantage in this regard. 

Nevertheless, globally recognised brands can emerge from diverse corners of the world, and in some instances, smaller economies manage to create well-known brands against all expectations: Finland's Nokia phones and Mexico's Corona beer to name but two.

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