As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the global and national economy, Denmark’s top 50 most valuable brands could lose up to 12% of brand value cumulatively, a potential drop of DKK 34.5 billion compared to the original valuation date of 1st January 2020, according to the latest Brand Finance Denmark 50 2020 report.
Looking beyond Denmark, the value of the 500 most valuable brands in the world, ranked in the Brand Finance Global 500 2020 league table, could fall by an estimated DKK 7 trillion as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Brand Finance has assessed the impact of COVID-19 on brands based on the effect of the outbreak on enterprise value, compared to what it was on 1st January 2020. The likely impact on brand value was estimated per sector. The industries have been classified into three categories – limited impact (minimal brand value loss or potential brand value growth), moderate impact (up to 10% brand value loss), and heavy impact (up to 20% brand value loss) – based on the level of brand value loss observed for each sector in the first quarter of 2020.
Lego retains title as Denmark’s most valuable brand
Lego remains Denmark’s most valuable brand by a long way, despite dropping marginally by 2% to DKK 44.2 billion. Loved by generations of children around the world, the iconic toys brand has managed to remain relevant in a sector that has been under never-ending threat by the increased digitalisation of children’s games and accessibility of animated television online since the turn of the century. For decades, Lego has defended its brand value by positioning itself at the forefront of current events, from tailoring its advertising strategy after being criticised for reinforcing gender stereotypes, to – most recently – releasing an animated COVID-19 PSA featuring a Lego Batman figure.
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value. According to these criteria, Lego is also Denmark’s strongest brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.6 out of 100 and a corresponding elite AAA+ rating.
Despite Lego’s favourable position in January 2020, the brand is likely to be affected by the wider impact of COVID-19 on the toys sector. With brands in the industry predicted to lose up to 20% of brand value, nearly DKK 9 billion of Lego’s brand value could be at risk.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance commented:
“While the toys industry is predicted to suffer a heavy impact to its brand value, Lego’s strong marketing strategy and customer loyalty may allow COVID-19 to be an opportunity for the brand to reach new customers who are looking for ways to stay busy at home. However, marketing and brand awareness campaigns will only take the brand so far, as it is most likely to be faced by manufacturing and distribution issues heavily impacting both the toys and retail sectors”.
Food is nation’s most valuable sector
Food brands dominate the Brand Finance Denmark 50 2020 ranking, with 13 brands featuring and an impressive cumulative brand value of DKK 51.0 billion. Of these brands, 6 are owned by Danish Crown (down by 13% to DKK 3.8 billion) and 5 belong to Arla’s (down 1% to DKK 22.1 billion) portfolio.
As the largest producer of dairy in Scandinavia, Arla remains the nation’s third most valuable brand behind Lego and Maersk (down 21% to DKK 22.7 billion). Despite a slight decrease in brand value, Arla has retained its position on the Brand Finance Denmark 50 2020 ranking by diversifying into new products – promising to invest a further DKK 4.6 billion in 2020 – which has increased year on year sales by 5.1%. Arla’s standing in the ranking is further boosted by new entrants, Karolines (43rd) and Lactofree (47th), but it is the domestically and internationally beloved Lurpak that sets Arla’s portfolio apart – the only Danish food brand to record an impressive 21% growth in brand value to DKK 4.6 billion.
As one of Denmark’s top selling food producers, Danish Crown’s brands also feature prominently in the Brand Finance Denmark 50 2020 ranking, albeit with Tulip (down 33%), Danepak (down 10%), Steff Houlberg (down 1%), and Den Grønne Slagter (0% change) recording mixed results. However, with the food sector predicted to suffer limited impact from COVID-19 and brands likely to see revenue surge from the stockpiling phenomenon during the pandemic, these are likely to recover in the coming year.
Beer brands bubble up
Beer brands have enjoyed a boost in the Brand Finance Denmark 50 2020 ranking, with nation’s favourite, Carlsberg, increasing in brand value by 14% to DKK 10.0 billion, but just sliding out of the top 10 to 11th position. Probably the best beer in the world was minimally overtaken by faster growing engineering brand Danfoss (up 19% to DKK 10.0 billion). Carlsberg Group’s Tuborg also enjoyed an impressive 32% increase to DKK 6.5 billion, with new entrant Grimbergen entering the ranking in 50th position. However, beer brands are likely to struggle as a result of falling bar and restaurant sales and the cancellation of public events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the brand value in the sector predicted to fall by as much as 20%.
Topdanmark is fastest growing
Following an impressive 66% increase in brand value to DKK 5.1 billion and a jump 11 places up on the ranking to 17th position, Topdanmark is the fastest growing brand in the country this year.
As one of the largest insurance and pension brands in the country, Topdanmark has celebrated record revenue over the previous year, with improved forecasts for 2020 and 2021, and an ROE of 24%. This boost in brand value is proof that Topdanmark’s strategy of organic growth, improved customer service, and optimisation of shareholders’ return has been favourable, enabling the brand to outperform competitors in the insurance industry over the last year.
Telecoms call for help: TDC and YouSee fastest falling
A call to the help desk may be in order for the global telecoms industry, reflected in the Brand Finance Denmark 50 2020 ranking, where TDC and YouSee are not only the sole telecoms brands on the ranking, but also the fastest falling, down by 44% and 41% respectively.
The majority of telecoms brands in the Brand Finance Global 500 2020 saw their brand value decline this year, despite strong investments. Over the past five years, the combined brand value of telecoms brands in the ranking has stagnated – US$558.4 billion in 2020 compared to US$567.7 billion in 2015 – while all other major sectors recorded significant increases. Big telcos are being squeezed from all sides as OTT messaging apps like WhatsApp are impacting voice and SMS revenue, and challenger brands offer comparable data services at below-market rates, leading to fierce price competition and decreasing margins.
However, COVID-19 may be an opportunity for telecoms brands to turn the tide on their declining revenues, as Brand Finance predicts a limited overall impact to the sector and even potential for growth as demand surges.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance commented:
“The telecoms sector can be seen as much more resilient in the face of COVID-19, while it experiences a faster revolution in data handling as a result of the working-from-home and staying-at-home trends we are seeing across the globe. Telecoms brands are, in essence, already being pressure tested, having seen an immediate spike in demand. Now is the time to engage with customers and regain their loyalty with relevant offerings”.
Note to Editors
Every year, Brand Finance values 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands. The 50 most valuable Danish brands are included in the Brand Finance Denmark 50 2020 report.
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 Denmark 50 2020 report.
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.
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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.
Brand Finance has assessed the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak based on the effect of the outbreak on enterprise value, compared to what it was on 1st January 2020. Based on this impact on enterprise value, Brand Finance estimated the likely impact on brand value for each sector. The industries have been classified into three categories – limited impact (0% brand value loss), moderate impact (up to 10% brand value loss), and heavy impact (up to 20% brand value loss) – based on the severity of enterprise value loss observed for the sector in the period between January and March 2020
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 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 Brand 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.