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Kantar is out with its Brand Z "Top 100 US Most Valuable Brands, concluding that Amazon gets the top spot this year, leapfrogging both Apple (#2) and Google (#3) to take that position.

“Amazon’s rise to the top is a culmination of how much all the elements people have been talking about — thinking bigger than your category, delivering a seamless experience — really matter,” Victoria Sakal, associate director at Kantar, tells Marketing Daily.

Rounding out the top 10 are Microsoft, Visa, Facebook, McDonald's, Mastercard, AT&T and Verizon.

The fastest risers in the group include Instagram, Pinterest, Salesforce and Chipotle, which seems to have moved beyond the brand-eroding impact of a variety of food safety issues.

A couple of other notes from the study:

"The US leads all other markets on innovation, with 36% of all US brands ranking highly on this measure. The most innovative brand is Uber, followed by Amazon, Netflix, Disney and FedEx."

"Delivering a great customer experience is crucial: According to consumers, Uber, Fedex, Pampers, UPS and Amazon provide the best experience."
KC's View:
It is fundamental to Amazon's ecosystem-centric strategic approach to growth that it be perceived as a valued and valuable brand. Now, that carries with it enormous responsibilities - like dealing with issues like counterfeit products, which continues to plague the company.

There's no question that the company wants the word "Amazon" to stand for something … and has been successful in achieving that goal. There's also little question that Jeff Bezos and his fellow Amazonians understand that this is always a work in progress, not a done deal.