Microsoft has been named the most valuable software brand of 2022. With a brand value of US$184.2 billion, Microsoft is leagues ahead of the rest of the world’s top 15 most valuable software brands featured in the study, and accounts for 61% of the total brand value in the ranking.
Every year, Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. For the first time, the world’s top 15 most valuable and strongest software brands are included in a separate industry ranking – the Brand Finance Software 15 2022.
Microsoft’s decision to pivot towards cloud computing has paid dividends throughout the pandemic, with the brand perfectly positioned to help businesses successfully navigate the abrupt shift to remote working. This year saw year-on-year revenue increase, with an impressive 22% growth for Office 365 Commercial being one of the key drivers.
The software giant’s CEO, Satya Nadella, who spearheaded this transformation, was also named the top brand guardian in the Brand Finance Brand Guardianship Index 2022, which ranks the world’s top 250 Chief Executives according to how well they manage and grow their company’s brand. Mr. Nadella has been credited with overhauling Microsoft’s fortunes by changing its culture towards one of teamwork, innovation, inclusivity, and instilling a growth mindset throughout the business.
Ultimately, the role of a brand guardian is to build brand and business value. Our ranking recognises those who are building business value in a sustainable manner, by balancing the needs of all stakeholders – employees, investors, and the wider society.David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance
Apart from 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. Certified by 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.
According to these criteria, Microsoft is also the strongest software brand in the world, with a Brand Strength IndexTM score of 87.4 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand rating. Last year, Microsoft announced a five-year commitment to help bridge the disability divide through the continued development of more accessible technology, as well as building a more inclusive workplace within the company itself.
Microsoft played a key role in the world’s transition to the new normal, and as one of the world’s most valuable brands, its innovative mindset and financial muscle stand it in great stead to dominate the sector for the foreseeable future.Lorenzo Coruzzi, Associate at Brand Finance
SAP highest ranked brand outside of US
Brands from the United States dominate in the Brand Finance Software 15 2022 study, claiming 11 out of the top 15 spots and accounting for 90% of the combined brand value in the ranking. The highest ranked brand from outside the US is Germany’s SAP, with a brand value of US$18.3 billion, which claims 3rd place behind Microsoft and Oracle, valued at US$29.1 billion.
In line with the trend in the industry, SAP shifted its focus away from the traditional on-premise licensing business model to a subscription-based cloud offering – RISE with SAP – which resulted in strong growth across its cloud portfolio in the third quarter of 2021. However, competitor Salesforce has continued to close the gap on the German brand, with just US$400 million now separating the two. Following year-on-year brand value growth of 36%, the brand is now worth US$17.9 billion.
Constellation Software shines bright
Constellation Software is the fastest-growing brand in the ranking, with its brand value increasing by 48% year on year to US$4.0 billion – which has seen it claim 8th place among the top 15. The Toronto-based brand has also recorded fastest growth when considering a broader two-year timeframe of the global digital transformation spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, with its brand value gaining an eyewatering 112% since 2020.
Constellation Software specializes in acquiring, managing, and building vertical market software businesses, which sees it operate in a number of niche sectors. Acquisitions made last year saw the Toronto-based brand’s revenues increase by almost 30% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. With additional acquisitions in the pipeline, and the creation of a US$200 million venture fund which will focus on start-ups, the impressive growth looks set to continue in the future.
Brand to watch: QuickBooks
Closely behind Constellation Software is QuickBooks claiming 9th position in the ranking with a brand value increase of 36% to US$3.8 billion. The brand, well known for its accounting software, saw solid revenue growth this year thanks to an increase in customers and higher effective pricing. To help the brand’s exposure to potential future customers, QuickBooks launched a free mobile app on iOS and Android – Money by QuickBooks – aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs who do not require the brand’s full set of services.