Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization releases first report on trends

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco has retained its position as the most valuable company in the Middle East in the latest global ranking by the strategy consulting firm Brand Finance, with a $41.6 billion brand value. 

The Saudi energy giant is followed by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., valued at $15.2 billion, according to the report. 

Globally, Aramco holds the 36th spot, while ADNOC ranks 128th. 

The UAE’s Etisalat by e& has retained its position as the strongest brand in the Middle East and Africa, with a Brand Strength Index score of 89.4. 

This also gives the firm the title of the world’s strongest telecom company brand.

Saudi Telecom Co., valued at $13.9 billion, has entered the top 150 within the Global 500 ranking. 

David Haigh, chairman and CEO of Brand Finance, said: “We are witnessing several brands from a wide array of sectors on the cusp of breaking into the top 500. The region is investing heavily in tangible and intangible away from the oil industry and as such many brands are making the step up from being strong regional players to becoming brands with global aspirations.”   

Globally, Apple has overtaken Amazon to claim the title of the world’s most valuable brand, with $516.6 billion net worth. 

Despite a plateau in iPhone sales, Apple achieved a 74 percent yearly increase in brand value, as highlighted in the report. 

The strategy of venturing into new markets, expanding its ecosystem, and promoting upgrades to higher-value iPhones played a pivotal role in securing Apple’s top rank in the list of the most valuable brands, according to the report. 

“Apple has grown its brand value through strategic diversification and premiumization, moving away from heavy reliance on iPhone sales toward ventures into wearables and services such as Apple TV subscriptions,” Haigh said.  

He added: “According to our research, more than 50 percent of respondents recognized Apple as expensive, but worth the price, reinforcing the brand’s ability to demand a price premium.”  

Apple is followed by Microsoft and Google with valuations of $340.4 billion and $333.4 billion, respectively.  

Amazon, which held the top position last year, slipped to the fourth spot with a value of $308.9 billion.  

The worth of technology giant NVIDIA surged by 163 percent to hit $44.5 billion, thus making it the world’s fastest-growing brand.  

The company’s overall performance firmly positions NVIDIA as a front-runner in the AI chip market, demonstrating a successful balance between innovation and market adaptation, the report added.  

Tesla has dropped out of the top 10, falling to 18th place in the ranking, with its value dipping by 12 percent to $58.3 billion.  

“While Tesla’s brand strength remains high overall, rated AAA-, Brand Finance research shows a significant fall in reputation. Tesla’s close association with Elon Musk, a controversial leadership figure, creates added reputational risk for the brand,” said Brand Finance in the report.  

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