In today’s fast-paced world, a strong brand is a powerful asset that helps a business stand out in a sea of competition.
What are some of the most popular brands around the world? One way to gauge this is by looking at Google searches to see what consumers are searching for online (and therefore, what brands they’re paying the most attention to).
As Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang details below, this graphic by BusinessFinancing.co.uk uses data from Google Keyword Planner to show the world’s most searched consumer brands in the twelve months leading up to March 2022.
To source this wide of a dataset, the team at BusinessFinancing.co.uk first compiled a list of well-known brands, using a number of reputable sources including Forbes, the Financial Times, BrandDirectory, and more.
From there, the team created a shortlist of popular consumer brands. This year, they focused on businesses that sell products and services, so some of the big tech companies like Google and Meta were excluded from the 2022 ranking.
Next, the team used Google Ads API to extract search volume data for the shortlisted brands. They looked at a couple of things:
The monthly average of searches over the last 12 months for the brand name alone (e.g. “Nike”) Brand name with the corresponding sector added to the keyword (“Nike clothing”), which helped offset the skew in search volume for generic terms like “Apple” or “Amazon”
They did this for every country in the world with data available. Here’s what they found.
The Top 5 Most Searched Brands
While Netflix is the most frequently searched brand in the highest number of countries (92), Amazon takes the top spot when it comes to total search volume.
Here’s a look at the top five most search brands by average global monthly searches:
But a brand’s search popularity doesn’t necessarily reflect that the business is thriving. For instance, in April 2022, Netflix announced it had lost around 200,000 subscribers throughout Q1.
The week of the announcement, Netflix’s stock price dipped below $200–the lowest it had been since 2017.
Apple and its iPhone take the top spot when it comes to smartphone searches, which may be unsurprisingly considering the top five best-selling smartphones in 2021 were all iPhones.
It’s worth noting that the top five best-selling smartphones only capture a fraction of the overall smartphone market, and while iPhones are undeniably popular, they only make up 16.7% of worldwide smartphone sales.
Epic Games, the creator and platform of Fortnite, maintains its status as the most searched-for gaming brand worldwide, with an average of 14.9 million global monthly searches.
No other gaming company came close to Epic Game’s search volume. For instance, Nintendo, which came in second place, only averaged 3.2 million searches a month.
However, Nintendo still managed to generate more than $16 billion in revenue throughout 2021, triple the gross revenue that Epic Games made the same year.
KFC was the most searched fast-food company in more than 83 countries, making it the most popular worldwide.
However, it’s worth noting that, while McDonald’s ranked first in fewer countries, it had a higher global monthly search average than its fried chicken competitor.
In 2021, KFC generated approximately $2.79 billion in global revenue, while McDonald’s brought in $23.2 billion.