Covid wipes huge $22tn off company values but brands can fuel post-COVID economic recovery

Covid wipes huge $22tn off company values but brands can fuel post-COVID economic recovery

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic slashed $22 trillion off company valuations worldwide in Q1 2020, according to new data.

The study, from the International Advertising Association (IAA), found that brand value fell S$116.6 to $94.8 trillion between January and April.

However, since the outbreak of COVID-19, the total value of intangible assets of publicly listed companies globally hit an all-time high of US$65.7 trillion in September, up 69% from April, highlighting the importance of brands in fuelling a post-COVID economic recovery.

While the global economy is forecast to contract by -4.4% this year (IMF), branded companies worldwide have bounced back from the COVID-19 crisis to record growth of 3.8% (from US$116.6 to US$121.0 trillion between January and September).

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the total value of intangible assets of publicly listed companies globally hit an all-time high of US$65.7 trillion in September, up 69% from April.

Around US$22 trillion was wiped off the value of publicly listed companies in Q1 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spooked markets, investors and consumers, but new research from Brand Finance, published in partnership with the International Advertising Association (IAA), shows that brands have the power to fuel an economic recovery.

Brand Finance’s analysis of 55,000 publicly listed, branded companies worldwide found that although their total enterprise value dropped from US$116.6 to US$94.8 trillion between January and April, it bounced back to $121.0 trillion in September, demonstrating how brands matter to business.

While the global economy as a whole is forecast to contract by -4.4% this year (IMF), branded companies that convey trust to consumers, like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla and Visa, have already bounced back from the decline caused by the COVID-19 crisis to record growth of 3.8%.

Brands are among the most valuable assets in a company, accounting for around 20% of total business value on average, according to Brand Finance.
Commenting, Dagmara Szulce, Managing Director of IAA, said: “This report shows us that the importance of brands increases during times of crisis, and that is why we are launching our global multi-channel campaign, Why Brands Matter. Brands communicate the origin, quality and authenticity of a product, but they also convey trust, identity, pride, passion, creativity, innovation and optimism. Strong brands restore consumer confidence, and brand competition can rebuild economic strength. We call on governments and brand owners around the world to work together to create an environment that gives consumers the confidence to invest in brands that matter to them; to foster an environment where brands are protected, nurtured and allowed to fulfil their full potential.”

The report shows how and why brands are a powerful tool for economic revival, allowing consumers to quickly identify the companies and products they like or differentiate between them. Brands are there to protect consumers from the risks that are posed from unregulated, illegal and counterfeit products, giving consumers peace of mind in their purchasing decisions.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said: “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.”

For the full findings, access the Brand Finance: Why Brands Matter 2020 Report here

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