18,625 $m
Amazon aims to be a place where consumers can find anything they want to buy — online. It delivers on this aim by regularly expanding its products and services and, in doing so, has remained a leader in customer service. In the past year, Amazon sustained the success of its Kindle brand, stretching it beyond its e-reader origins into a legitimate iPad alternative, introducing both the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire in 175 countries. The Kindle Fire now enjoys the world’s second-largest tablet market share. By taking a hit on Kindle product prices, Amazon hopes to gain high-volume, ongoing revenue in e-book and other content sales. This strategy appears to be working. As the second-biggest climber in brand value this year, Amazon has much to celebrate. However, its unfriendly stance toward unions, hardball battles to evade sales taxes in certain parts of the US, and a highly publicized story about the harsh treatment of workers in a Pennsylvania warehouse last year have put a dent in the company’s image. To leverage the full potential of its brand, Amazon needs to manage the reputation of its business and work to improve employee relations.