Financial metrics such as price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) and earnings-per-share (EPS) are at the core of most valuations; however, a company’s intangible assets are also a key factor in investment decision making. After all, brand equity as well as research and development contribute significantly to a company’s performance. In their 2021 rankings, two eminent brand consultancy firms, Interbrand and Kantar BrandZ, recognized several companies in the Nasdaq-100 (NDX®) as global leaders.
NDX-listed companies ranked at the top of Interbrand’s list
Interbrand’s list is among the most widely watched and respected annual brand rankings. During the analysis, the fastest risers significantly outperformed other brands on three factors that reveal fundamental priorities.
"Direction, agility and participation are three key themes we've seen driving brand growth over the past year,” commented Charles Trevail, Global CEO of Interbrand. “Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the constantly evolving business landscape, employee buy-in, adapting to change and a strong customer base have helped certain brands to thrive."
In 2021, NDX companies dominated the top of Interbrand’s list:
13 other NDX-listed brands or their subsidiaries on Interbrand’s list include:
- #14 Tesla (TSLA)
- #15 Facebook (FB) (now Meta)
- #16 Cisco (CSCO)
- #17 Intel (INTC)
- #21 Adobe (ADBE)
- #26 YouTube, an Alphabet subsidiary
- #28 Pepsi, a PepsiCo (PEP) subsidiary
- #36 Netflix (NFLX)
- #42 PayPal (PYPL)
- #51 Starbucks (SBUX)
- #56 eBay (EBAY)
- #83 LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary
- #91 Zoom (ZM)
Interbrand specifically called out Tesla's growth over the past year and noted that a three-figure increase in brand value is unprecedented in the past 22 years of Best Global Brands.
According to Trevail, Tesla is a brand that epitomizes the importance of brand direction, agility, and participation.
NDX-listed companies were also at the top of Kantar BrandZ’s list
Kantar BrandZ's Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2021 list is topped by the same companies on Interbrand’s list, but in a different order:
- #1 Amazon (AMZN)
- #2 Apple (AAPL)
- #3 Google (GOOGL), an Alphabet subsidiary
- #4 Microsoft (MSFT)
Although technology brands generally excelled, it was not only top names such as Apple and Amazon that experienced strong growth.
“Of the 87 brands returning from last year’s Top 100 ranking, some 67 increased their value year-on-year by at least 5 percent. Just as impressively, 29 of the brands in this year’s Top 100 and Category Rankings notched year- on-year brand value increases of more than 50 percent,” the report states.
19 other NDX-listed brands or their subsidiaries on Kantar
BrandZ’s Top 100 list are:
- #6 Facebook (FB) (now Meta)
- #12 Nvidia (NVDA)
- #18 Instagram, a Facebook subsidiary
- #19 PayPal (PYPL)
- #20 Adobe (ADBE)
- #23 Intel (INTC)
- #24 Netflix (NFLX)
- #29 Starbucks (SBUX)
- #31 Xfinity, a Comcast (CMCSA) subsidiary
- #35 Texas Instruments (TXN)
- #37 Qualcomm (QCOM)
- #39 YouTube, an Alphabet subsidiary
- #41 Cisco (CSCO)
- #44 JD (JD)
- #47 Tesla (TSLA)
- #52 Zoom (ZM)
- #54 LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary
- #55 Costco (COST)
- #89 Autodesk
How to invest in these world-leading brands
The NDX is heavily allocated toward top performing industries such as technology, consumer discretionary, and health care. These sectors helped the index outperform the S&P 500 by a wide margin between December 31, 2007, and December 31, 2021. Looking at the annual total returns, which reinvest dividends, the Nasdaq-100 Total Return Index® has outperformed 11 out of the 14 years in our study.
The rankings from Interbrand and Kantar BrandZ demonstrate the strength of NDX companies and their continued place among the world's best brands. Investing in these companies is easier than you might think. Individual investors can gain exposure to NDX names through the Invesco QQQ ETF that tracks the index, among other financial products.
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