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RBC is Canada’s Most Valuable Brand

RBC achieves strong growth to maintain title as Canada’s most valuable brand 
Tim Hortons brand grows under pressure 
Videotron earns Canada’s fastest growing brand valuation  
Manulife grows quickly, to become most valuable insurance brand in Canada 
WestJet is Canada’s strongest brand ahead of Telus 
View the full report on Canada’s 100 most valuable brands here 

RBC’s brand value grew by 4% to $17.3 billion, maintaining its leadership position as Canada’s most valuable brand for a fifth consecutive year, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. RBC extended its lead at the top of the Brand Finance Canada 100 league table ahead of TD (brand value down 5% to $15.6 billion). 

RBC now leads the country in brand value with a compelling proposition focused on building customer loyalty and achieving strong reviews amongst its key stakeholders. Compared to other Canadian banks, RBC has the highest loyalty amongst existing customers with 83% of survey respondents confirming that they are likely, or very likely to continue using the bank next year. Existing customers also gave RBC top marks for familiarity, consideration, preference, and reputational strength – ahead of its key competitors. 

Prior to this year, RBC’s brand value was only slightly ahead of TD’s. However, over the last twelve months, RBC has grown, while TD’s brand value has seen a drop. In 2017, RBC achieved record earnings, demonstrating the power of their business model across personal and commercial banking, capital markets, investor and treasury services, insurance, and wealth management. This allowed the bank to deliver a return on equity of 17%. 

Looking ahead, RBC’s strong brand is likely to be a powerful asset as the Canadian economy is forecast to grow in 2018 and unemployment is likely to remain at some of the lowest levels since the 1970s. With the Bank of Canada considering future interest rate rises, and uncertainty around possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, RBC’s brand strength may be instrumental in maintaining consumer confidence in their product range. 

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented: 

“RBC has shown strong growth over the last year and left TD behind to earn a standalone position as Canada’s most valuable brand. Its leadership role across the broader Canadian economy is a new opportunity for RBC to leverage its brand to maintain financial growth. Most importantly, RBC’s brand strength is not just built upon a successful advertising campaign, but rather, a deep and valuable foundation of service to its customers.” 
Scotiabank and TD follow in RBC’s wake with high brand value rankings 
While TD lost a little brand value over the last year, Scotiabank (brand value up 13% to $12.7 billion) grew strongly to narrow the gap as the fourth-most valuable brand in Canada and as the third-most valuable bank. Scotiabank’s brand value growth was correlated with increased revenue forecasts and strong positive brand sentiment amongst key stakeholders. 

Tim Hortons Brand Grows Under Pressure 
Tim Hortons (brand value up 17% to $6.3 billion) has experienced widespread media criticism, but their brand strength grew despite these challenges. While some stakeholders have argued that the brand is losing its Canadian identity under foreign ownership, consumers appear to not be factoring this into their purchasing decisions. This resilience can prove valuable as Tim Hortons, now Canada’s fifth strongest brand, expands into foreign markets. 

Videotron earns Canada’s fastest growing brand valuation 
Videotron (up 124% to $1.7 billion) had an extremely positive year as the fastest growing brand in the Brand Finance Canada 100 league table. Videotron’s brand was significantly boosted by a 19.5% increase in mobile telephone revenue, in line with global trends towards increased data traffic (relative to voice traffic) on mobile networks. In addition to increasing average monthly revenue per user by 6.7%, Videotron also increased the number of its users, registering its millionth mobile phone subscriber in November.  

Looking forward, Videotron is investing heavily in content distribution, integrating more content services with its existing network services. This included a strategic partnership with Comcast to provide more on-demand television content to users. This represents a strong strategic response to a challenge facing telecommunication carriers globally – how to extract more value in the content delivery pipeline and avoid merely being infrastructure providers in the future. 

Manulife grows quickly, to become most valuable insurance brand in Canada 
Manulife (up 61% to $4.1 billion) rose from 23rd to 17th spot among Canadian brands, to maintain its position as Canada’s most valuable insurance brand ahead of Sun Life (up 35% to $3.2 billion). The Manulife brand was driven by a strong increase in earnings, caused by higher investment gains, strong new business and growth in Asia. 

WestJet is Canada’s strongest brand 
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value. 

According to these criteria, WestJet (brand value down 9% to $1.0 billion) was the strongest Canadian brand. While it has faced significant challenges over the last year (most notably, the unionization of pilots, and extreme weather conditions in the third quarter) its ability to overcome those challenges is strengthening the brand. For example, WestJet took proactive action to mitigate the weather problems by rescheduling dozens of flights before the storms arrived, and several post-storm rescue flights to retrieve stranded people (including both WestJet passengers, and Canadians more broadly). These flights were also able to transport almost 6 tonnes of humanitarian supplies for the Canadian Red Cross.  

Looking forward, WestJet is increasingly stretching its wings as it seeks to provide services which are authentically Canadian and uniquely WestJet. Successful brand differentiation will help to extend their network to new destinations in Canada and further afield. 
View the full Brand Finance Canada 100 2018 report here 


Note to Editors 

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 100 most valuable brands in Canada are included in the Brand Finance Canada 100 2018 league table.  

Brand value is equal to a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand. Brand strength is used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand.  

More information about the methodology as well as definitions of key terms is available in the Brand Finance Canada 100 2018 report.  
Data compiled for the Brand Finance league tables 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 

Charles Scarlett-Smith 
Marketing and Communications Manager 
T/M: +1 (514) 991-5101  
Sehr Sarwar 
Communications Manager 
T: +44 (0)2073 899 400 
M: +44 (0)7966 963 669  

About Brand Finance 
Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy, with offices in over 20 countries. Brand Finance bridges the gap between marketing and finance by quantifying the financial value of brands. Drawing on expertise in strategy, branding, market research, visual identity, finance, tax, and intellectual property, Brand Finance helps brand owners and investors make the right decisions to maximise brand and business value. 


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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