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The Netherlands’ Most Valuable Brands Revealed

·         Shell remains unchallenged at the top, rising 12% to a brand value of ‎€32.7 billion

·         Improving revenues and diverse sponsorships see Heineken’s brand value grow 17%

·         Ziggo is the fastest-growing brand, up 77% year on year

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. A brand’s strength is assessed (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, preference, sustainability and margins) to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand. This is projected into perpetuity and discounted to determine the brand’s value. The 50 most valuable Dutch brands are included in the Brand Finance Netherlands 50 league table.

Shell is the Netherlands’ most valuable brand with a value of ‎€32.7 billion, following an increase of 12% year on year. It remains unchallenged among Dutch brands since the inception of the ranking in 2011.

Oil prices saw a fairly steady increase across 2016 as supply became slightly more constrained, helping to improve revenues. After a drop at the beginning of the year, Brent Crude nearly doubled in value from early January to the end of December. Shell’s asset disposal program following the completion of its merger with BG has helped to consolidate and strengthen the brand, which has been upgraded from AA+ to AAA- thanks to a Brand Strength Index score of 82. Shell’s longstanding partnership with Ferrari continues to deliver returns, with a demonstrable price premium attributable to the association with the world’s most powerful auto brand. Shell also invests heavily in campaigns that position it as an innovative provider of the clean energy solutions of the future. As part of its ‘Make the Future’ initiative, Shell enlisted the help of six popstars from around the world for its ‘Best Day of My Life’ video, which became one of the most viral ads of 2016.

Placing 6th, Heineken recorded the largest growth among the top ten, rising 17% to a brand value of €4.7 billion. Sponsorship continues to be a primary brand-building tool for Heineken, though its mix of partnerships is shifting slightly. Despite a longstanding relationship with the UEFA Champions League, it is slowly shifting its focus away from football which it sees as ‘totally overcrowded’ with competitors’ brands making differentiation difficult. Heineken is instead developing its involvement with F1 and has renewed its association with rugby by announcing that it will be the headline sponsor of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Heineken is also securing its brand’s standing by keeping up with recent market trends. It has just launched ‘Heineken 0.0’, an alcohol-free beer, in response to a reduction of alcohol consumption as increasing numbers of consumers go teetotal or lower their intake over concerns about health, fitness, and social impact. As well as being lower in calories and alcohol-free, Heineken claims that the new product closely replicates the taste of true lager. Few alcohol-free beers have been successful in the past, therefore, if consumers are convinced, it would be a major success for Heineken from both brand and financial point of view.

Unilever is 7th with a brand value of ‎€3.8 billion, down 4% from 2016. It is a major employer, well-known for its business ethics and focus on sustainability. So when KraftHeinz launched a bid for the company, there was deep concern amongst a broad range of stakeholders both in Britain and the Netherlands. In the event, Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman rebuffed the US$143 billion deal, which was seen to significantly undervalue the company.

Marc Cloosterman, Managing Director, Brand Finance Netherlands, commented: “This situation illustrates one of the fundamental reasons to value brands. Since internally generated goodwill (which includes brands) is not listed in company accounts, it is often overlooked or underestimated. Unilever has one of the world’s most valuable brand portfolios, estimated by Brand Finance at €48.2 billion, more than double the value of KraftHeinz. Bringing this to the fore will be key to defending any future bids or ensuring that shareholders receive fair value.”

With a change of 77% in value year to year and rising to 17th place, Ziggo is the fastest growing Dutch brand. Its rapid growth has been the result both of the expansion of the application of the brand and improved service offerings. A number of own-branded sport channels have been introduced, adding more content, while last year’s merger between Ziggo and Vodafone’s operations in the Netherlands opens up further new opportunities. The joint venture, VodafoneZiggo, will continue to operate both brands and provides customers with a more integrated range of telecommunications services, combining Ziggo’s cable with Vodafone’s mobile network. Ziggo now has a quad-play service to challenge the dominance of KPN.



Note to Editors

For more definitions of key terms, methodology and more stories, please consult the Brand Finance Netherlands 50 report document.

Brand values are reported in USD. For conversions into EUR, please consult the hover over the ‘i’ button on the web version of the table and select.


Media Contacts

Marc Cloosterman, Managing Director, Brand Finance Netherlands

T: +31 20 670 21 65                                                     


Robert Haigh, Marketing & Communications Director

T: +44 (0)2073899400            M: +44 (0)7762211167  


Konrad Jagodzinski, Senior Communications Manager

T: +44 (0)2073899400            M: +44 (0)7508304782 


Joslyn Pannu, Communications Manager

T: +44 (0)2073899400            M: +44 (0)7885666236  


About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy, with offices in over 25 countries. We provide clarity to marketers, brand owners and investors 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 clients make the right decisions to maximise brand and business value and bridges the gap between marketing and finance.


Definition of Brand

When looking at brands as business assets that can be bought, sold and licensed, a technical definition is required. Brand Finance helped to craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation, ISO 10668. That defines a brand as “a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos and designs, or a combination of these, intended to identify goods, services or entities, or a combination of these, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits/value.”

However, a brand makes a contribution to a company beyond that which can be sold to a third party. ‘Brand Contribution’ refers to the total economic benefit that a business derives from its brand, from volume and price premiums over generic products to cost savings over less well-branded competitors.

Brand Strength

Brand Strength is the part of our analysis most directly and easily influenced by those responsible for marketing and brand management. In order to determine the strength of a brand we have developed the Brand Strength Index (BSI). We analyse marketing investment, brand equity (the goodwill accumulated with customers, staff and other stakeholders) and finally the impact of those on business performance. Following this analysis, each brand is assigned a BSI score out of 100, which is fed into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand in the league table is assigned a rating between AAA+ and D in a format similar to a credit rating. AAA+ brands are exceptionally strong and well managed while a failing brand would be assigned a D grade.


Brand Finance calculates the values of the brands in its league tables using the ‘Royalty Relief approach’. This approach involves estimating the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand, i.e. what the owner would have to pay for the use of the brand, assuming it were not already owned.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength on a scale of 0 to 100 based on a number of attributes such as emotional connection, financial performance and sustainability, among others. This score is known as the Brand Strength Index, and is calculated using brand data from the BrandAsset® Valuator database, the world’s largest database of brands, which measures brand equity, consideration and emotional imagery attributes to assess brand personality in a category agnostic manner.

2 Determine the royalty rate range for the respective brand sectors. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database of license agreements and other online databases.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The brand strength score is applied to the royalty rate range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty rate range in a brand’s sector is 0-5% and a brand has a brand strength 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 estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a specific brand.

5 Determine forecast brand specific 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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