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KPN Takes Crown as Strongest Dutch Brand

  • KPN named strongest Dutch brand, Brand Strength Index (BSI) score 85.2 out of 100 and AAA rating
  • Shell holds on to title as most valuable brand in the Netherlands, increasing 9% to €36.4 billion
  • Despite troubles, KPMG retains second place, brand value €11.2 billion
  • Banking brands going strong, claiming 3 spots in top 10
  • Hunter Douglas fastest-growing, brand value up 56%

View the full Brand Finance Netherlands 50 2019 here

KPN crowned Netherlands’ strongest

Telecoms provider, KPN, has claimed the title of the strongest brand in the Netherlands, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 85.2 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy.

Brand Finance determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value. While the telecoms industry has been challenged by wireless air-interface technology, KPN (brand value €3.1 billion) has managed to stay ahead of the curve through its strategy of delivering organic and sustainable growth. By sticking to its goals of developing smart infrastructure, profitable growth segments, and accelerating simplification and digitalisation, KPN has established itself as a trustworthy and reputable brand in the minds of consumers.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance commented:

“KPN is set for a successful year ahead, as its ground-breaking project to develop quantum internet is likely to spark major changes in the telecoms sector. At a time of increased anxiety over online privacy, KPN’s pledge to develop a safer, online model will keep them ahead of the curve.”  

Shell retains top spot

Shell retains its position as the most valuable brand in the Netherlands and the most valuable B2B brand in Europe, its brand value growing a healthy 9% to €36.4 billion, further widening its lead in the ranking.   

The boost in Shell’s brand value is largely attributable to the brand’s transformation from an oil and gas multinational towards its aim of becoming one of the largest electricity and energy brands globally. Coupled with its commitment to renewable and clean energy projects, and its newly-announced investment in North Sea projects to increase its UK oil production by a third, the brand is set to continue on a positive trajectory.

Shell also remains committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of the Paris Agreement by helping to shape a more sustainable energy future, making a concerted effort to take action on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its products. Shell notably aims to cut the Net Carbon Footprint of the energy products it sells by around half by 2050.

KPMG going strong despite controversies

KPMG is the second most valuable and second strongest brand in the ranking, valued at €11.2 billion and with a BSI score of 83.2 out of 100. However, KPMG remains troubled among the Big Four, and has been impacted by controversies in 2018, including the widely-covered audit of the now defunct UK construction firm, Carillion.

In the future, KPMG will need to modernise further, as the winds of change are already swaying the Big Four firms to take bolder steps towards modifying their traditional consulting models. Not only has the brand entered and expanded into new realms of professional services throughout the world, but there is also increased talk of breakups into smaller fractions that would help hedge its bets for better service provision in the coming years.        

Banking brands prominent in top 10

Banking brands ING (brand value up 18% to €9.8 billion), Rabobank (up 46% to €7.1 billion) and ABN AMRO (up 24% to €4.0 billion) account for 3 positions in the top 10, all boasting impressive uplifts in their brand values.

The favourable positions of ING, Rabobank and ABN AMRO are largely due to the brands’ responses to new digital trends in the market. ING has recently introduced Apple Pay to the Netherlands in a collaboration that is expected to add to the 383 million Apple Pay users worldwide.

In retaliation to the declining number of ATM machines across the country, the banking brands are seeking to revolutionise ATM distribution through newly-formed, Geldmaat. Using new technologies to determine the number of bank transactions per area, Geldmaat will distribute ATM machines in key regions, where customers of all three banking brands will be able to access their accounts free of charge.  

HunterDouglas is fastest-growing brand

Rotterdam-headquartered window blind brand, HunterDouglas, is the fastest-growing brand in the Netherlands, with an impressive 56% increase in brand value to €852 million. Despite being a relatively small brand, HunterDouglas has kept up with its competitors by liquidating its investment portfolio and using the funds for new acquisitions. This has increased its cash flow, resulting in positive forecast revenues, and thus contributing to the boost in brand value.

Schiphol flies into ranking for first time

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport enters the ranking for the first time with a brand value of €271 million. Schiphol’s favourable position is undoubtedly advanced by the airport’s renewed commitment to sustainability and CSR policies. Running on 100% renewable energy, Schiphol is on track to become a zero-waste airport by 2030. The airport has consistently delivered a world class service for passengers transiting, departing and arriving in Amsterdam, serving as a comfortable, well-equipped hub for travellers. Schiphol is also ranked amongst the world’s top 10 airport brands in this year’s inaugural Brand Finance Airports 25 report.


Note to Editors
Every year, Brand Finance values 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands. The 50 most valuable Dutch brands are included in the Brand Finance Netherlands 50 2019 league table.

Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

Additional insights, charts, and more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Netherlands 50 2019 league table

Data compiled for the Brand Finance rankings and reports are provided for the benefit of the media and are not to be used for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

Media Contacts
Sehr Sarwar
Communications Director, Brand Finance
T: +44 (0)2073 899 400
M: +44 (0)7966 963 669

Florina Cormack-Loyd
Communications Manager, Brand Finance
T: +44 (0)2073 899 400
M: +44 (0)7939 118 932 

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About Brand Finance           
Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy, with offices in over 20 countries. Brand Finance bridges the gap between marketing and finance by quantifying the financial value of brands.

Brand Finance helped craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668, and the recently approved standard on Brand Evaluation – ISO 20671.

Brand Finance is a chartered accountancy firm regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), and also the first brand valuation consultancy to join the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).

Brand Finance’s brand value rankings have been certified by the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) through the Marketing Metric Audit Protocol (MMAP), the formal process for validating the relationship between marketing measurement and financial performance.

Definition of Brand
Brand Finance helped to craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668. It defines a brand as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength
Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures, relative to its competitors. In order to determine the strength of a brand, we look at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach
Brand Finance calculates the values of the brands in its league tables using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1.    Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2.    Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3.    Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4.    Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5.    Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6.    Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7.    Brand revenues are discounted post-tax to a net present value which equals the brand value.

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