America's companies have a valuable but intangible asset -- their brand. But even intangibles are not immune to this pandemic-driven economic shutdown.
As the COVID-19 pandemic devastates economies around the globe, the most valuable brands in the U.S. could stand to lose up to $1 trillion in value over time, according to Brand Finance, a brand valuation consultancy based in London.
America’s 500 most valuable brands dropped by about $393 billion in value since Jan. 1, says Brand Finance in their annual report on the country’s most valuable brands, US 500 2020. The company’s researchers assign valuations to this intangible but highly-prized asset -- good branding generates loyalty, implies consistency, attracts customers, and ultimately makes money.
Brand Finance also says that their research revealed a compelling link between strong brands and stock market performance, saying that investing in highly-branded companies could lead to a return almost double that of the average for the S&P 500 as a whole.
Not all brands have suffered in the pandemic. Amazon.com, (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report where sales have surged since the virus began its deadly spread, broke the $200 billion brand value mark as America’s top brand, primed for more growth as the lockdown continues, the report says.
Telecom brands have mostly avoided direct impact, and have the opportunity to embrace the growth in working from home, which has led to a demand for remote working resources and connectivity, the report says.
Of 500 leading American brands, the ones that have leaped upward the most in value over the last year are S&P Group, which jumped up 68.7%, Tesla, (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report with an increase of 64.9%, Taco Bell at 62.4%, Jeep at 62.2% and Instagram, with an increase of 58%. Taco Bell is part of Yum! Brands (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report, which also owns Pizza Hut and KFC.
Brands taking the biggest hit are Fox, (FOX) - Get Fox Corporation Class B Report which dropped 47.2% since last year’s report, Campbell Soup (CPB) - Get Campbell Soup Company Report (-40.3%) and Gap (-38.8%) (GPS.) - Get Gap, Inc. Report
Based on Brand Finance’s report, which calculates the likely impact of the pandemic on brand value for each sector, these are America’s most valuable brands, and how much each brand value has changed since last year.