Brand Finance logo

Aeroflot is Russia’s Most Powerful Brand

18 April 2017
This article is more than 7 years old.

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. Russia’s 50 most valuable brands are featured in the Brand Finance Russia 50.

As part of its overall assessment of brand value, Brand Finance looks at two key factors. The first is revenues (both historic and forecast), but just as important is an assessment of the strength or ‘power’ of each brand. Brand Finance looks at factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, preference, sustainability and margins. By stripping out the effect of revenues, it is possible to get an even clearer picture of the value a brand is bringing to the overall business and the effectiveness of its marketing team.

On this basis, Aeroflot is Russia’s most powerful brand, with a Brand Strength Index score of 88.8. This also makes Aeroflot the world’s most powerful airline brand. Aeroflot’s brand strength stems in part from dominance of its domestic market. Aeroflot is the only Russian carrier to hold Four Star Airline status from Skytrax, the authority on airline service quality. Brand Strength Index scores for metrics such as familiarity, consideration, preference and loyalty are formidable, both when compared against other Russian airlines and against foreign ones within their home markets. This is all the more impressive given that there are no air routes for which Aeroflot has exclusive access, demonstrating that its strength is underpinned by competitive advantage rather than monopoly.

Investment in the brand, which lays the foundations for future resilience and growth, is another key component of brand strength in which Aeroflot excels. It has the youngest fleet of any major airline and is investing heavily in marketing promotion, particularly in Asia. This is reinforced by its sponsorship of Manchester United (the world’s most valuable football brand), which helps Aeroflot reach a vast audience across East Asia in particular. The approach is clearly paying off. Aeroflot was last week named China’s favourite international airline by the Civil Aviation Administration of China at the 2017 Flyer Awards. Even more impressively, in the inaugural TripAdvisor Best Airlines list (based on customer reviews from around the world) Aeroflot was judged to have the best business class experience of any airline and named the best major airline in Europe.

Sberbank is Russia’s most valuable brand. It is Europe’s 6th most valuable banking brand and the 24th globally. Strengths include its credit portfolio, carefully managed risk but more importantly its ambitious and innovative approach. Sberbank is determined to be a young, innovative, technology-based bank, and is building tech platforms to sell internationally. In 2016 it announced plans to build a ‘national ecommerce system’ to be used in both B2C and B2B contexts, using its vast resources and infrastructure. A deal with Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has recently been signed to help make the plan a reality.

Brand value is up 23% to 569 billion RUB. On the brand’s performance, Sberbank’s Alexey Zabrodin commented, “Sberbank is rapidly transforming into one of the world’s largest ecosystems. Our main priority is to make people’s lives better by inspiring them to fulfill their aspirations and dreams. This has been a key driver behind our success”.

Gazprom, Lukoil and Rosneft occupy 2nd, 3rd and 4th places respectively, highlighting Russia’s strength in oil and gas. Lower Oil & Gas prices in the early part of 2016, in addition to the impact of sanctions, has suppressed the brand value growth of many of Russia’s oil majors this year. Though macroeconomic conditions such as these will always determine the overall direction of business and brand value performance for commodity-led firms, the approach they take to the management of their brand will determine the extent of the impact. The impact on Gazprom for example has been less pronounced than it might have been thanks in part to its brand building activities.

For a primarily upstream (ie production focused) brand, Gazprom invests significant amounts in marketing. In particular it has cultivated a vast array of sponsorships, most notably in football, with partners including Shalke 04, Zenit St Petersburg, the UEFA Champions League and next year’s FIFA World Cup, to be held on its home turf. Such brand building creates positive brand associations with a wide range of stakeholders which includes not just stakeholders but staff and potential employees, with local communities, with strategic partners and even government authorities.


Note to Editors

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

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


Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
Brand Finance

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organizations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined 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. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

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 brands in its rankings 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, while 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 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

Get in Touch