The brand value of Twitter increased by 85% to US$5.7 billion this year, even before the takeover attempt by Elon Musk, according to Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. The big increase in Twitter’s brand valuation was correlated with its extremely valuable brand amongst its biggest users: highly-educated opinion leaders, and provides strong underlying support for Musk’s apparent investment thesis that significant improvements to revenue are possible.
Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes around 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The media industry’s top 50 most valuable and strongest brands in the world are included in the annual Brand Finance Media 50 ranking.
With the Twitter board now appearing likely to support Musk’s US$46.5 billion proposal to take the company private, this brand valuation supports a potential vision for the Twitter brand that has not yet been commercialised. This year, Twitter improved its ranking amongst the world's most valuable media brands, jumping ten places from 36th to 26th in the global rankings.
Musk's interest in Twitter underlines an often overlooked aspect of brands. They are crucial not just for grabbing consumer attention, but also in influencing investor behaviour too. Musk's interest in Twitter, and the billions he is prepared to invest in it are the consequence, in large part, or the strength of its brand. Equally, despite controversy about the acquisition, Musk's personal brand may be beneficial to Twitter. In an attention-dominated economy, closely aligning the Twitter and Musk brands could be mutually beneficial.
Richard Haigh, Managing Director of Brand Finance
Google (brand value up 38% to US$263.4 billion) has retained its position as the world’s most valuable media brand by ensuring that the brand is actively innovating during the pandemic. Google relies on advertising for the vast majority of its revenue, and was hurt at the start of the pandemic as advertising spend dropped due to uncertainty. However, as the world adjusted to the new normal, and with people spending more and more time online, advertising budgets opened back up and Google’s business rebounded, resulting in a healthy uplift in brand value.
In addition to calculating brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Compliant with ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 100,000 respondents in more than 35 countries and across nearly 30 sectors. WeChat is named the strongest brand in the ranking with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 93.3 out of 100, earning an elite AAA+ rating.
WeChat (brand value down 8% to US$62.3 billion) plays an integral part in day-to-day life in China, with its all-encompassing set of services allowing customers to message, video call, order food, and shop. It also played an integral part in the country’s fight against COVID-19, with more than 700 million people using its services to book vaccinations and tests. The app’s entrenchment in people’s lives helps it achieve strong scores in reputation and consideration among Chinese consumers, according to Brand Finance’s research.
Media brands globally adapted to the unprecedented changes brought about by the pandemic. Since users relied on media brands for important information about COVID-19 and entertainment, social media, media outlets and technology brands provided new service offerings and online formats to meet soaring consumer demand.Richard Haigh, Managing Director of Brand Finance
TikTok/Douyin (brand value up 215% to US$59 billion) has grown in popularity this year for entertainment as well as monetising user content with brand partnerships. The brand has achieved an impressive 215% brand value growth year-on-year. A wide variety of consumer brands are implementing TikTok into their marketing spend, creating a new medium of advertising and selling via influencer marketing.
Leveraging user generated content has been a key move by social media brands such as TikTok, Instagram (brand value up 34% to US$33.5 billion) and YouTube (brand value up 38% to US$23.9 billion). While traditional media companies produce or license content for distribution, modern social media outlets are benefitting from huge volumes of user-generated content. In recent years, social media channels such as Instagram have revised their product to encourage more content creation – and in doing so, building very strong brand attachments amongst users who are increasingly self-identifying as part of the social media brands.
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in several industries, and tech-led media brands lead this year’s ranking of the world’s most valuable media brands. Brands such as Google (brand value up 38% to US$263.4 billion), Facebook (brand value up 24% to US$101.2 billion), Netflix (brand value up by 18% to US$29.4 billion) and YouTube (brand value up 38% to US$23.9 billion) among many others are at the top of the Brand Finance Media 50 2022 ranking.
Meanwhile, 5th placed Disney (brand value up 11% to US$57.1 billion) and 10th placed Universal (brand value up 11% to US$12.9 billion) lead the world’s traditional media production and distribution companies, in part because of their successful deployment of new online services. The remaining eight brands in the top 10 media ranking are disruptive tech-led media brands operating either social media or new streaming platforms.