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BRAND FINANCE GIFT™ 2021

Microsoft Overtakes Apple to Become World’s Most Intangible Company

  • With an intangible asset value of nearly $2 trillion, Microsoft becomes world’s most intangible company, overtaking Apple, Saudi Aramco, and Amazon, as Microsoft Teams keeps global economy running through COVID-19 lockdowns.
  • Corporates booming – global intangible value has grown by nearly a quarter over past two years of pandemic, from $61 trillion in 2019 to $74 trillion in 2021
  • Over past 25 years, intangibles have seen astronomical growth – increasing 1145% from estimated $6 trillion in 1996. At this historic rate of change, global intangibles could be worth $1 quadrillion by 2050.
  • Brand Finance and International Valuation Standards Council call for more comprehensive reporting of intangible asset value to facilitate investor understanding and economic recovery post-COVID

Every year, the Brand Finance Global Intangible Finance Tracker (GIFT™) report ranks the world’s largest companies by intangible asset value.

This year’s number one company in terms of total estimated intangible value is Microsoft (US$1.90 trillion), which has jumped from 4th position in 2020 to overtake Apple (US$1.87 trillion), Saudi Aramco (US$1.64 trillion), and Amazon (US$1.47 trillion). Microsoft Teams has become embedded into business life for global organisations, once again proving the value of Microsoft’s ability to innovate and roll-out at scale. Microsoft is investing heavily in its business suite solutions. Although Apple is the more valuable company by approximately $200 billion, Microsoft is estimated to have more intangible value with its portfolio of brands and business operations.

Intangible assets are identifiable, non-monetary assets without physical substance. Intangible assets can be grouped into three broad categories – rights (including leases, agreements, contracts), relationships (including a trained workforce), and intellectual property (including brands, patents, copyrights).

Intangible assets boom during COVID-19 pandemic

Over the past year in particular, global intangible asset value has grown faster than usual, and at $74 trillion it exceeds pre-pandemic levels by nearly a quarter, having increased 23% compared to $61 trillion in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated even further the importance of people, innovation, reputation, and brand for businesses all around the world. Intangible assets are now unequivocally a boardroom priority.

Increases through the pandemic were primarily fuelled by the growth of the world’s largest organisations which were resilient to investor uncertainty due to their scale and their focus on technologies which we continued to rely on through lockdowns. This year, growth has been driven by China and the USA, with several industries recovering from the downturn in 2020.

In times of crisis, brands – especially those most valuable and strongest in their categories and markets – become a safe haven for capital. Like gold or fine art during past economic downturns, nowadays well-managed, innovative, and reputable brands are what the global economy turns to in the hour of need. There can be no better evidence for why brands matter than the role they have already played and will continue to play in the post-COVID recovery.

David Haigh, Chairman & CEO, Brand Finance

Global intangible value grows by over 1000% in 25 years

25 years ago – when Brand Finance was established – global intangible assets were worth only an estimated $6 trillion, less than a tenth of the same value today. As of September 2021, global intangible assets are worth over $74 trillion. This is a 1145% growth over 25 years – approximately 11% per annum.

It is a pivotal moment in financial reporting for intangibles. Total estimated intangible value has grown by over 1000% in the past 25 years. At the same rate, total global intangible value could stand at over $1 quadrillion by 2050 (that is $1,000,000,000,000,000). As investors grapple with balancing various issues such as Climate Change and ESG over the coming years, it is essential that the data they need to understand these vast sums is readily available.

Annie Brown, Associate, Brand Finance

Internally generated intangibles should be recognised in financial reports

The majority of intangible assets are not recognised, due to the limitations set by the financial reporting rules, which state that internally generated intangible assets such as brands cannot be disclosed in a company balance sheet.

Investors should not be deprived of this critical information. Intangible assets such as strong, valuable brands and innovative technology can be the differentiators that drive a $2 billion company to $2 trillion in 25 years – as witnessed with Apple. This information vacuum for investors is part of the reason why Brand Finance endeavours to estimate the extent of “undisclosed intangible value” in our GIFT™ study each year.

David Haigh, Chairman & CEO, Brand Finance Plc

To truly aid investors and provide them with useful information, we believe management should be allowed and required to:

  1. Identify the key intangibles of the entire business – both internally generated and acquired.
  2. Provide an opinion on the value of those intangibles in the notes to the financial statements.
  3. Provide an opinion of the overall business value at the reporting date, to help investors to understand whether or not their capital is allocated efficiently.

Despite the importance of intangible assets to the capital markets, only a small percentage are recognised on balance sheets, typically via acquisition from a third-party transaction. The pandemic has further exacerbated the disparity between market values and book values for those industries most reliant on brands, technology, and human capital for value creation. The IVSC supports Brand Finance, and all others, that look to make progress on this most critical issue.

Kevin Prall, Technical Director, International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC)

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® today announced that General Motors (GM) Chair and CEO Mary Barra will deliver the opening keynote at CES® 2022, the world’s most influential technology event. Barra will return to the CES keynote stage, sharing GM’s vision for mass adoption of electric vehicles. She will show how technology and the all-electric era will create opportunities for mobility experiences to serve the planet and the people.

The automotive sector is tracking for record growth at CES® 2022, with companies from around the world using CES to launch products, share their vision and conduct face-to-face meetings. More than 180 companies from the transportation and vehicle tech industry have committed to the show, including GM, Daimler AG, Fisker, Hyundai Motor Company, Toyota, Waymo and more.

“CES is the global stage for brands to showcase their commitment to driving change,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Mary Barra disrupted an industry at an inflection point by showing the potential of an all-electric future. GM stock hit an all-time high following the show. We are thrilled for her return at CES 2022 and look forward to hearing the progress GM has made towards an all-electric future and its vision for how this technology will benefit our planet.”

Barra has served as CEO of GM since Jan. 15, 2014 and Chair of the GM Board of Directors since Jan. 4, 2016. Under Barra’s leadership, GM envisions a world with zero crashes, to save lives; zero emissions, so future generations can inherit a healthier planet; and zero congestion, so customers get back a precious commodity – time. She began her career with GM in 1980 as a co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division and has since held various roles within the company, including executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain, vice president of Global Human Resources, and vice president of Global Manufacturing Engineering.

Barra joins recently confirmed T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert as a keynote speaker. The CES keynote schedule will be updated regularly as keynote speakers are announced. Top visionaries and thought leaders will speak and share insights on premiere technologies during CES 2022. Attendees will be able to view the keynotes in Las Vegas and through the digital experience, giving the world a front row seat to experience the future of technology.

Owned and produced by CTA, CES 2022 will convene the tech industry in-person and digitally, Jan. 5-8, 2022, with Media Days taking place Jan. 3-4, 2022. Global audiences will have access to major brands and startups, as well as the world’s most-influential leaders and industry advocates. For over 50 years, CES has been the global stage for innovation, and CES 2022 will provide an opportunity for companies from around the world, both large and small, to launch products, build brands and form partnerships. Visit CES.tech for all CES 2022 updates, including registration details, and the media page for all press resources.

Mike Blackman Managing Director Integrated Systems Europe

MIKE BLACKMAN: ISE REMAINS SCHEDULED FOR 1-4 JUNE

ISE MD Mike Blackman responds to the announcement by AVIXA that the InfoComm 2021 show is set to take place in Orlando in October 2021.

Dear ISE community,

Following today’s announcement that the InfoComm 2021 show will now take place in Orlando in October 2021, we want to confirm that Integrated Systems Europe, remains scheduled to open live and online on 1-4 June 2021 in its new home at the Fira Barcelona.

Whilst we recognise there continue to be challenges ahead, we are in touch with government and the relevant health authorities to constantly monitor the situation. None of us can predict how the situation will look in June, but we are hopeful that by the second quarter of 2021 we will see the world return to a new ‘normal’ with vaccines being rapidly delivered in many countries around the world.

We understand our exhibitors and partners need to make commitments that will incur cost and we do not wish to burden them unnecessarily. For this reason, if circumstances impact our ability to host an in-person event and we are forced to cancel this element of ISE, we will make this decision by 1 March.

With the backdrop of the global pandemic, our priority in recent months has been devising the means to deliver a safe and secure event for all exhibitors and visitors and we have been working closely with the City of Barcelona, the venue and relevant authorities.

In early January, Fira de Barcelona received the ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, an internationally recognised endorsement from the World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC), developed in collaboration with the specialist risk management consultancy Aon and the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.

ISE has also published A Guide to Safe Visiting, outlining the safe practice protocols that have been put in place with the Fira Gran Vía to ensure that the visitor experience is safe and secure. The guide can be located here.

Looking ahead to June, we can confirm that today, over 37,000 sqm of space is signed up with just under 700 exhibitors confirmed and new companies continuing to book their place on the floorplan.

Next week sees online visitor registration open, coming at a time when we realise the industry is keen to ‘get back to work’ in the second half of the year. Feedback from our recent customer research shows that the industry is looking forward to meeting as soon as the situation allows and we are currently updating the research to measure current sentiment amongst both our exhibitors and visitors.

In a time where many of our industry colleagues are suffering financially or have lost their jobs or businesses, we at ISE are striving to do everything we can to contribute to the industry getting back on its feet.

I would personally like to thank all our customers, partners and colleagues within the industry which we serve and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you,

Mike Blackman
Managing Director
Integrated Systems Europe

MINI Design Award Finalists: Alejandro Carbonell [Green Urban Data]

The MINI Design Award is an initiative of MINI Spain within the Madrid Design Festival 2021 that seeks to reward projects focused on generating a positive impact on urban life.

Among its finalists is Alejandro Carbonell, founder and CEO of Green Urban Data, for an online service that, in the face of environmental deterioration in cities, facilitates decision-making and prioritization of strategies against climate change using satellite images.

Brand Finance Global 500 Launch: The Role of Tech Brands in Driving Economic Growth

January 26, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Brand Finance Global 500 Launch: The Role of Tech Brands in Driving Economic Growth

Economic growth and technological innovation are historically perceived as concurrent. As we progress through the 21st century, the world is innovating at an increasingly rapid rate, and whereas previous predictions of technological development would be forecast over a 25 to 50-year period, this timespan has now become much shorter.

Nevertheless, 2020 saw the world experience unprecedented economic upheaval, as the health of populations and national economies took substantial blows. The primary focus of the foreseeable future will be to revive the global economy from the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join our webinar alongside a panel of C-suite executives as we discuss how important a role technology brands will play in the economic recovery after a year of turbulence, and how we predict where technological innovations will take brands in the next 5, 10, and 25 years.

Taking place at the time of our usual Davos event, the webinar will launch the Brand Finance Global 500 2021 rreport and present the findings of our annual study into the world’s 500 most valuable and strongest brands across all sectors and countries, as well as the Brand Finance Brand Guardianship Index 2021 ranking of the world’s top 100 CEOs.

To learn about your brand’s performance ahead of the launch, please email enquiries@brandfinance.com. Our Consulting Team is here to help.

2020 sets the stage for a decade of unprecedented changes. 2020 has been a year that saw the speed of change increase by factors no one could have expected back in January. Businesses pivoted literally from one day to the next like never before. Organizations set aside hesitations and made bold decisions focusing on innovative technologies and strategies to respond to the crisis. Having done it all year to ensure survival, we expect to see businesses continue to move fast and implement decisions at lightning speed.

According to a research lead by Gartner showed that organizations are moving many IT automation technologies from evaluation to deployment as they prepare to respond to the rapid pace of digitalization. In 2020, 45% of all IT automation technologies are in deployment with the remaining 55% in pilot.

IDC’s research says 65% of global GDP will be digitalized by 2022, driving $6.8 trillion of IT  spending from 2020 to 2023.

So what will we see in 2021? Globant has created the report ‘Predictions 2021: An explosive mix of innovative technology and new business models’. In this report, Globant’s top executives weigh in with their predictions for the next 12 months and beyond, based on thousands of hours of work and constant discussions with our clients around the world.

These are:

  • There will be a surge in new, ingenious, and transformative business models.
  • Creating a high-performance work culture will require new skills and tools.
  • Powerful, holistic experiences will differentiate those businesses that survive and thrive, and those that die.
  • The rise of resilient, yet adaptive, organizations.
  • Businesses will shift to hyper automation and adopt tools to dramatically accelerate software development.

We hope these predictions will provide you with insights and ideas to build the foundation for long-term success.

Download the white paper to discover more about what’s in store for 2021.

Bugatti in the Middle East new Dealer Partner in Saudi Arabia

This Sunday, Bugatti announced its new partnership with SAMACO Automotive, one of the leading and most experienced companies in the automotive luxury market in Saudi Arabia. In the first half of 2021 the French luxury car manufacturer will have its first showroom in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. For more than 35 years, SAMACO Automotive has been in a strong partnership with the Volkswagen Group, including high-end brands such as Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini – an ideal position to enhance Bugatti’s presence in the Saudi Arabian market.