TikTok has been named the world’s fastest-growing brand in an industry report.

A new entrant to the Brand Finance Global 500, its growth of 215% has seen it triple in size as it leads a global revolution in media consumption via its short shareable videos.

Apple, meanwhile, held on to the title of the world’s most valuable brand with a record valuation of more than $3.5 trillion, followed by Amazon and Google.

Tech remains the most valuable industry ahead of retail, while the development of COVID-19 vaccines sees pharma named the fastest-growing industry, with the tourism sector remaining below its pre-pandemic valuation.

WeChat was named the world’s strongest brand for the second consecutive year with a top score of 93.3 out of 100 and elite AAA+ rating, while Microsoft’s Satya Nadella topped the Brand Finance Brand Guardianship Index 2022 of the world’s top 250 CEOs.

‘Our brave pivot built TikTok’s largest nano-influencer network’

Every year, brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 500 most valuable and strongest brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Global 500 ranking – now in its 16th year.

COVID effect on TikTok growth

TikTok’s brand value has increased from $18.7 billion in 2021 to $59bn this year. Claiming 18th spot among the world’s top 500 most valuable brands, it is the highest new entrant.

With COVID-19 restrictions still in effect across the globe throughout 2021, digital entertainment, social media, and streaming services saw continued growth, and TikTok’s rise is testament to how media consumption is changing. 

With its offering of easily digestible and entertaining content, the app’s popularity spread across the globe, however, it also acted as a creative outlet and provided a way for people to connect during lockdown.   

27 young entrepreneurs aiming to change the world through tech

At the same time, strategic partnerships, such as its sponsorship of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, exposed TikTok to demographics outside of its original Gen Z base. It crossed the one billion user mark in 2021 and became the most downloaded app across Android’s Google Play store and Apple’s App Store.

David Haigh, chairman and CEO of Brand Finance, commented: “Media consumption has increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but – what is more – the way we consume it has irrevocably changed. 

“In order to compete in this evolving marketplace, media organisations have invested heavily in their brands – from content acquisition through to user experience. 

“TikTok’s meteoric growth is the proof in the pudding – the brand has gone from relative obscurity to internationally renowned in just a few years and shows no signs of slowing down.”


Fast-growing media brands

The media sector accounts for the top three fastest-growing brands in the ranking, with fellow social media app Snapchat (up 184% to $6.6bn) and South Korean internet brand Kakao (up 161% to $4.7bn) following closely behind TikTok.

Other notable performers from the media sector include those that offer streaming services, with Disney (up 11% to $57bn), Netflix (up 18% to $29.4bn), YouTube (up 38% to $23.9bn) and Spotify (up 13% to $6.3bn) all seeing increases.

National performance

Brands from the United States and China continue to dominate the Brand Finance Global 500. Over two-thirds of the total brand value in the ranking is attributable to the two countries, with the US accounting for 49% ($3.9tr) and China for 19% ($1.6tr).

The UK also performs well, with the combined value of brands from Britain rising by 47% to $257.1bn – the fastest level of growth among the top 10 countries this year, indicating that Brexit uncertainty has largely been overcome. 

Shell effect

Shell’s decision to move its headquarters is one of the key reasons behind the impressive growth, as it now ranks as the nation’s most valuable brand at $49.9bn, but the UK has also seen three other new entrants in this year’s ranking – AstraZeneca, JD Sports and Burberry.

Breaking the results by industry, the tech sector is once again the most valuable in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking, with a cumulative brand value of close to $1.3tr. 

In total, 50 tech brands feature in the ranking: however, the brand value is largely attributable to three big players, with Apple, Microsoft ($184.2bn) and Samsung Group ($107.3bn) together accounting for more than 50% of the total brand value in the sector.