Stock - Saudi Aramco
The Aramco branding is sure taking a fast-track approach in the global rankings. Aramco shot into the Top 20 spots when it comes to being among the world's most valuable brands for 2022. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A near $3 trillion stock market cap surely helped, as the Saudi energy giant Aramco broke into the ranks of the world’s 100 most valuable brands, based on an annual survey from Kantar BrandZ. Apple sits at the top of these rankings with a perceived brand value of $947 billion and well ahead of Google’s $819 billion. Amazon, which was the numero uno brand last year, dropped to third with $705 billion.

So, how much is the Aramco brand worth? The Kantar BrandZ findings suggest it to be $99 billion. Incidentally, Aramco is the only brand from the Middle East to figure in this year’s rankings. The reaffirmation of fossil fuels as a core element in the running of the global economy, oil at $100 a barrel plus, the Aramco stock market value of $2.29 trillion (as of this month) all figure in propelling the brand’s prominence.

Aramco is all that, but as important is its role in reshaping the Saudi economy going forward. Aramco will have a hand in the Kingdom’s energy transition strategy, and will make each of its contributions a telling one. Along with the sovereign wealth fund PIF, Aramco is one Saudi enterprise with a true global reach.

With a ranking of 16 in the global Top 100 valuable brands, Aramco was the highest placed new entrant this year. “This is very much in line with their exciting ambition to further drive their global presence by pioneering innovative technologies that will positively impact people and the communities they live in,” said Nico Stouthart, Senior Partner Consulting Division - New York at Kantar.

Luxury makes a mark

Louis Vuitton with a brand value of $124.3 billion became the first luxury label to enter the Top 10, which since the first rankings came out in 2006 has been dominated by tech and digital media. Clearly, the world’s rich getting back to travelling and updating their accessories did help Louis Vuitton (and many of the other super-premium labels in the LVMH portfolio).

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On the fashion runways and in accessorizing all those who can afford it, Louis Vuitton made its mark. Image Credit: AP

McDonald’s works its way up

McDonald’s brand value worked up a good appetite, up three positions to No. 6 with a value of $196 billion, ahead of Visa ($191 billion) and Facebook ($186 billion). The recent exit from Russia – and the subsequent rebranding of its locations there – don’t seem to have hurt much.

China’s sway

Even with all the renewed attention on ‘zero-Covid’ measures and some worries about economic growth, China’s tech monoliths Tencent and Alibaba retained their grip on Top 10 positions, at No. 5 and No. 9, respectively.

The Top 100 brands added another $1.3 trillion of brand value this year - we have seen the strongest growth in consumer tech and luxury brands.

- Amol Ghate, Managing Director, Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, for Kantar’s Insights Division.

“We are also seeing that brands growing in value are creating more connections, whether it’s by connecting to more people by amplifying their meaningful difference and reaching to greater audiences; or by connecting to new markets and categories and driving conversations around broader issues impacting the people.”