In BrandZ's 14th spot and rising, Amazon ( AMZN) has continued to benefit from a perception of value and convenience. "Illustrating how dramatically shopping has changed, Amazon, the online company with no stores, surpassed Wal-Mart ( WMT) as the most valuable retail brand," BrandZ says. "The company continued to add categories last year, even food, to drive traffic." Traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers have also weathered the economic storm by cultivating a perception of balancing price point and value, according to Sullivan. For example, Ikea (which saw its brand value increase 28%) has persevered in the furniture space. "This focus on value isn't just limited to the lower price points," she says. "I think another example of a company that has done a tremendous job of focusing on value is Target ( TGT). They help consumers justify their purchase. It offers whimsical products, but it is perceived to offer great value -- you can get that great design at a much lower price than you would get somewhere else."