Amazon now the world's most valuable brand: study

E-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has continued to make acquisitions that position it as a top threat across multiple industries, from health care to the grocery aisle, earning it the title of the world’s most valuable brand in 2018.

According to Brand Finance’s new Global 500 report for the current year, the e-commerce behemoth’s brand value surged 42% over the past year to $150.8 billion. In last year’s results, Amazon ranked in third place, behind both Google and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Brand Finance cited blockbuster deals, such as Amazon’s acquisition of organic grocer Whole Foods (NYSE:WFM), as critical ways the company strengthened its brand value.

Amazon, Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple will report earnings after the close of markets on Thursday.

As previously reported by FOX Business, Amazon is also entering the health care space through a new collaboration with JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA), aimed at lowering prices and increasing transparency. There has been speculation that Amazon could also leverage its massive shipping network to enter the prescription drug market, though the company has not yet given any indication that it intends to do so.

Technology company Apple ranked second on the list of the world’s most valuable brands, holding steady in that spot from the year prior. Its brand is valued at $146.3 billion, though Brand Finance saw some headwinds for the company as it “failed to diversify” and became “over-dependent on sales of its flagship iPhones.”

Meanwhile, Google dropped from the no. 1 to the no. 3 spot, as its modest 10% brand value growth failed to keep pace with Amazon’s massive advances. While the company has made some headway into new industries, with self-driving cars and other ventures, Brand Finance notes that these projects are not yet mature enough to give the company a boost similar to Amazon’s.

Rounding out the top five spots were Samsung, valued at $92.2 billion, and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), with a brand value of $89.6 billion. AT&T (NYSE:T), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and ICBC, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, completed the top 10 in 2018.

The United States maintained the largest share of global brand value, at 43%, though China is beginning to close that gap. Since 2008, China’s share of global brand value has increased 888%, to 15% from 3%.