Apple has retained its spot as the most valuable electronics brand with a 35% increase in value to US$355 billion, followed by Samsung. However, value-for-money brands are among the fastest growing catering to new post-Covid market segments, according to a study from brand valuation firm, Brand Finance.

Apple has managed to lead innovation in the premium market segment, as supply chain bottlenecks disrupted global logistics and premium brands continued to gain strong returns from constrained supply levels.

Huawei too had a big increase in brand value, despite pushback from some Western governments.

According to Brand Finance CEO, David Haigh, Apple continues to innovate to meet changing customer demands as it looks towards a post-Covid future. “The brand is innovating across all its verticals and will be entering the realm of virtual reality and self-driving cars in the next few years.”

Apple has also been successful in combining innovation and marketing by leveraging its premium hardware devices with a premium range of subscription-based digital services. The iPhone still accounts for around half of sales, but this year Apple gave more attention to its other suite of products with a new generation of iPads, an overhaul to the iMac and introducing AirTags.

The Samsung brand value grew slightly to retain second position, up 4.5% to US$89.2 billion, but it faces a challenge to maintain a strong brand value when its software interface is controlled by other businesses.

Huawei also increased its brand value by 29% to US$71.2 billion, with growth coming from its wireless telecom business and an aggressive 5G rollout in China, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Huawei is strengthening its software foundations by investing in operating systems such as HarmonyOS and EulerOS.  Like Apple, which also controls its own software for its own hardware, Huawei may have an opportunity to exert greater brand control. While it comes at the expense of access to the Google/Android ecosystem it might offer an opportunity for brand differentiation in time, according to the Brand Finance study.

As for those value for money consumer brands, ASUS saw its brand value shoot up 75% to US$2.1 billion, OnePlus increased by 92% to US$1.8 billion and TCL-CSOT went up 81% to US$1.3 billion. Although these brands faced chip shortages and global supply chain disruptions over the past year, they have been able to earn premium prices in a supply-constrained market.