The Top 10 Brands of 2017 in Retail, Technology, and Leadership

As reflected on my personal website, my endless curiosity journey has focused on three topics: retail, technology, and leadership. The subplot spotlight to all three categories has been a passion for branding. 

Lead, by Living Your Personal and Professional Branding Dream

Every year, I look forward to the latest BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands Report. In a turbulent 2017 year, “brands have continued to deliver. The Top 100 brands increased in value by 8 percent year-on-year to now be worth $3.64 trillion.”

Top 10 Brands in Apparel

The BrandZ apparel top 10 declined 7%, following a 14% rise a year ago. The breakout brand for 2017 was Adidas, whose brand value rose 58%. The total brand value for the top 10 was $105.9 billion. Over the 12 years this study has been conducted, brand value for this category increased 154%.

The five brand building action points recommended by BrandZ for apparel in 2017:

  1. Have a Clear Purpose – Express the brand’s contribution to the customer’s life and explain what drives the brand and distinguishes it. 
  2. Deliver Experience – Balance offline and online, finding innovative ways to present in physical locations where the customer can experience it directly.
  3. See Beyond Millennials – The aging population of many countries offers brands a major opportunity to market across age groups.
  4. Respect Changing Values – One size does not fit all. 
  5. Be Versatile – Offer products that can be used on multiple occasions. 

Top 10 Brands in Luxury

The BrandZ luxury top 10 only rose 4% in value in 2017. This is still an improvement on 2016, when brand value for these same companies declined 5%. The top 10 had an overall brand value of $104 billion. Over the 12 years of this study, this category’s brand value increased 72%.

The five brand building action points recommended by BrandZ for luxury in 2017:

  1. Update Thinking – The value exchange is evolving. 
  2. Leverage the Story – Embrace technology to express brand mythology in new ways.
  3. Be in the Moment – The moment is fleeting.
  4. Think Speed Dating – Luxury purchasing traditions imitate a courtship model of inspiring and seducing the customer. 
  5. Stay Ageless – Remain ageless while being provocative. 

Top 20 Brands in General Retail

Driven by Amazon and Alibaba, retail as a category had the highest percent increase in brand value (+14%). The top 20 had a brand value of $428.8 billion. Over the 12 year history, this category’s brand value increased 162%.

The four brand building action points recommended by BrandZ for general retail in 2017:

  1. Leverage the Store – The physical store is the brand’s best billboard. 
  2. Engage Shoppers – Turn mobile behavior into an advantage. 
  3. Be Consistent – Deliver seamless onmi-channel consistency.
  4. Decrease Friction – It’s not all about the commercial calendar. 

Top 10 Technology Brands

“The Fearsome Five technology giants – Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook – take the top places in this year’s ranking and combined are worth 25% of the total value of the Top 100.”

With 13% increase in value, technology was the second fastest growing category. Amazingly, all top 10 technology companies had a brand value increase. For the top 20, brand value was a substantial $1,244.8 billion. Over the last 12 years, the brand value of technology has risen 292%.

The five brand building action points recommended by BrandZ for technology in 2017:

  1. Make it Simpler – Each new generation needs to simpler than earlier versions.
  2. Sound Human – Talk less about the technology and more about the benefits.
  3. Own the conversation – None to date have set the standard as IoT captain and being its public face.
  4. Make Media Immersive – Move beyond feature-driven advertising and be more immersive. 
  5. Take a Stand – When brand core values are threatened, silence can be deafening. 

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Live Your Branding Dream

Leadership success today requires increased focus on branding. Look no further than the North America retail industry to understand the challenges of not having a differentiated brand. 

We are living in amazing digital revolution times where technology can drive continuous brand value improvements. Lead, by living your personal and professional branding dream.

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