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Brand Beta Part 3 - What are the most popular brands?

Alex Haigh
10 May 2023

Analysing Brand Strength and why it matters

Every day at Brand Finance we are tasked with evaluating the strength of brands and marketing and valuing the impact of that strength. Within that task lies a requirement to answer different layers of questions including:

  1. What is a brand and what makes it strong?
  2. Why do brands and brand strength matter?
  3. What are the most popular brands?
  4. What can you do to build Brand Popularity and Strength? – The Brand Beta model

The following series of short articles is intended to explain how we do that and what that means for businesses.

3. What are the most popular brands?

At Brand Finance we’re known for our rankings and in that respect, this analysis doesn’t disappoint. And while rankings are not the only concern one should have, they can clearly be useful for understanding one’s performance.

In the table below you can see the top brands by BrandBeta in each country where we have researched at least 10 sectors. These can also be considered the “Most Popular” given that they are the ones most well known and most likely to be considered among all brands researched.

of Research
Brand BetaCountry Rank
CheckersSupermarketsSouth Africa9.951
PetrobrasOil & GasBrazil9.601
Turkish AirlinesAirlinesTurkey9.511
SamsungTechnologySouth Korea9.471
Big CSupermarketsThailand9.461
ShellOil & GasMalaysia9.431
ShopeeGeneral retailSingapore9.391
Royal MailLogisticsUK9.331
SaudiaAirlinesSaudi Arabia9.301
AmazonGeneral retailIndia9.271
Albert HeijnSupermarketsNetherlands9.201
China MobileTelecomsChina8.371

Source: Brand Finance Global Brand Equity Monitor October 2022

What you can see from the list of brands and countries is the prevalence of brands from certain sectors. In particular, Supermarkets/Retail make up 10 of the most popular brands in the 26 countries and Media makes up 8.

Brands in these high usage, low cost (or in the case of media nil cost) sectors tend to have higher familiarity and consideration than other sectors – for example banking or insurance where there is often low day-to-day interest in brands or automobiles where regularity of purchase is low. It is therefore useful to look by sector and even by sector within country since this can be used to compare against market share more effectively.

Unfortunately, given the space I have I cannot list the ranks of the most popular brands in all sectors and countries we have researched for Brand Finance’s Global Brand Equity Monitor database so I will focus on some special sectors close to my home here in Asia.

Looking at Banks in Singapore, market leaders DBS/POSB clearly lead the pack, with DBS commanding a BrandBeta score more than 1 pt above OCBC. DBS’ brand value is almost double that of each of OCBC and UOB, a fact which is explained in large part by this difference in popularity.

BrandSectorCountry of ResearchBrand BetaCountry //
Sector Rank
DBS BankBanksSingapore8.931
OCBC BankBanksSingapore7.803
Standard CharteredBanksSingapore6.515

Source: Brand Finance Global Brand Equity Monitor October 2022

DBS, initials which originally stood for the Development Bank of Singapore, has been an important part of Singapore’s miracle growth story from independence. Since 2009, when it installed current CEO Piyush Gupta after 10 bumpy years with 5 different CEOs, it has transformed itself in to a regionally leading bank with customer-centricity at its core and leading the charge towards digitalisation in banking. As a result, it has largely staved off challenges from the 5 recently accredited digital banks in Singapore and strengthened its lead against the other members of the big 3 – OCBC and UOB – in Singapore.

Moving to Australia, if we review the Telecoms sector we can see how Telstra is not only leading but is increasing its lead as Optus was hit by a massive data leak late in 2022.

of Research
Brand BetaCountry // Sector RankBrand Beta Growth

Source: Brand Finance Global Brand Equity Monitor October 2022

Optus, which happens to be a subsidiary of Singapore-based Singtel, and is the second largest Telecoms company in Australia, was hit by a data breach back in September 2022. This led to the release of large quantities of personal data on about 40% of Australia’s population (10 million people).  As a result of the breach, Optus’ customer loyalty and perceptions of trust are significantly down and as a result so is its popularity – a sign of an important trend.

As you can see, this BrandBeta® metric can be a useful way to show popularity between brands and track performance year on year. The results can be analysed across category and country and by reviewing the results regularly, you can have a good sense of whether things are going wrong or right. And if they’re not going well, a warning to do something about it.

About the Author

Alex Haigh
Managing Director
Brand Finance, Asia Pacific

Alex is an all-rounder on all areas of valuation and quantitative market research but is a technical specialist in the assessment on the return on investment of different brand architecture and brand positioning options. Much of this experience has focused on identifying the brand structures, media investment, media mix and distribution channel management needed to minimise risk and maximise opportunity from any brand changes.

His other area of expertise is the use of market research and brand valuation for licensing strategy and transfer pricing having helped to set up brand licensing teams and structures with many clients.

He is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax adviser and has completed the Advance Diploma in International Tax, with a specialisation in Transfer Pricing. He holds a dual degree in Economics and Environmental Policy from the London School of Economics and has completed training in Data Analysis and Marketing Strategy. He has worked internationally across all continents and in most sectors and now manages Brand Finance's teams and client work across Asia and Australasia.