Who hasn’t rented a U-Haul truck, shopped for cat litter at PetSmart or viewed an outrageous GoDaddy TV commercial during the Super Bowl?
Apparently a lot of people haven’t, because those three Arizona-based brands received no mention in a study of the most valuable and recognizable brands in America.
In fact, no Arizona brands or companies rank among the top 500 nationally, according to a new study by London-based Brand Finance. That makes Arizona one of just 13 states not to receive any recognition in the report.
Along with U-Haul, PetSmart and GoDaddy, Sprouts Farmers Market also failed to make the list, as did the University of Phoenix, LifeLock and all other local companies. Even Taser, the stun-gun maker whose corporate name has been transformed into a verb in popular usage, didn’t make the grade.
Nationally, Google is the most valuable brand, worth $109 billion, according to the study, followed by Apple and Amazon.com — each above $100 billion. Rounding out the top 10 are AT&T, Microsoft, Verizon, Walmart, Facebook, Wells Fargo and McDonald’s.
Several of those corporations are large employers in Arizona but aren’t headquartered here. Other giant companies with highly valuable brands, and sizable Arizona workforces, include Chase, Bank of America, Home Depot, Intel, Boeing and American Express — all ranked among the 50 most valuable nationally.
Combined, America’s top 500 brands are worth $3.1 trillion, up from $2.8 trillion in 2016, according to the report.
The study ranked brands and companies based on a combination of factors including financial performance such as sales and profit margins, emotional connection, familiarity and sustainability. About one-third of the brands and companies on the list are worth less than $2 billion. Nearly two dozen Arizona-headquartered corporations have annual revenue of at least that much, including U-Haul International parent Amerco, plus PetSmart, electronics-distributor Avnet, global mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, Sprouts, trucking leader Swift Transportation and national garbage hauler Republic Services.
The lack of Arizona brands on the list raised some eyebrows.
“Arizona is blessed to have a number of organizations that are among the most recognizable, credible and profitable brands in the U.S.,” said Jeff Lockridge, a U-Haul spokesman, in a statement. “With roughly a quarter of a million trucks and trailers on U.S. and Canadian roadways, we like to think quite a few folks associate (do-it-yourself) moving equipment with the orange-clad colors of U-Haul.”
A number of seemingly obscure non-Arizona brands made the top-500 list, including Seiyu, Akamai Technologies, Eog Resources, ob, Nrg Energy, f5, Aecom Technology and NOV.
California has the most top-500 brands and companies with 71, followed by New York, Texas, Washington and Illinois. Arizona was the only state to drop off the list, likely reflecting PetSmart’s acquisition by a private investment firm based in London, though the retailer’s operations remain here. A spokesman in London for Brand Finance confirmed that PetSmart had been included in prior years.
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