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BHP Unearthed as World’s Most Valuable Mining Brand

07 February 2018
This article is more than 6 years old.

· Rebranding strategy hits pay dirt as BHP becomes world’s #1 mining brand

· Swiss-based Glencore falls to second place despite strong financial performance

· Baowu Steel doubles brand value to US$2.0 billion, following merger

· Alcoa sheds over half of its brand value, dropping 13 places down the league table

View the full list of the world’s 25 most valuable mining, iron, and steel brands here

View the Brand Finance Mining, Iron & Steel 25 report here

BHP struck gold with their major 2017 re-branding exercise, as the world’s largest mining company’s brand value rose 29% to US$5.1 billion and took first place in the Brand Finance Mining, Iron & Steel 25 league table. In May, BHP launched its “Think Big” campaign following its rebranding from BHP Billiton to BHP, which focused on demonstrating the role of BHP in Australia’s economy and community. The rebranding appears to be paying off as BHP not only increased its brand value, but also its Brand Strength Index (BSI) score from 73.2 to 74.3 this year.

Meanwhile, the most valuable brand of 2017, Glencore, performed well financially over the last year, but its brand value dropped by 11% to US$3.7 billion. This is because the brand suffered significant erosion in brand strength from 62.9 to 55.3, caused in part by widespread mentions of Glencore in association with the Paradise Papers released in November.

Posco (down 4% to $3.6 billion) was able to retain its position as the world’s third most valuable mining brand, ahead of Rio Tinto (up 25.4% to $3.1 billion) which enjoyed strong brand value growth alongside higher iron ore prices caused by increased Chinese demand.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“After the 2014 metal price crisis, caused by a drop in demand for raw materials in China, the industry is once again being shaped by the Chinese market. The country’s demand for higher-quality iron ore imports is benefiting the industry’s largest brands such as BHP and Rio Tinto. Challenger brands will need to define their competitive advantage to capture a greater proportion of the ever growing Chinese market.”

Baowu Steel doubles brand value following merger

The merger between Baosteel and Wuhan Iron and Steel has resulted in China’s biggest steelmaker – Baowu Steel – and fuelled the fastest-growth in the Brand Finance Mining, Iron & Steel 25 league table. Thanks to increased revenue, Baowu Steel’s brand value grew 103% to US$2.0 billion.

Alcoa drops 13 places down the league table

In late 2016, the sixth largest producer of aluminium spun off its mining and production unit into a separate company, retaining the brand name Alcoa, and rebranded the parent company, with a focus on designing and building processed metal parts, as Arconic. As a result of this reorganisation, brand value decreased 57% to US$613 million, largely due to a drop in Alcoa-branded revenues. Despite the changes, the new Alcoa’s share price has recently been boosted by higher aluminium prices. It will be interesting to see whether the brand will also be able to move up the ranking again in the future, as the recent brand restructuring cost it a fall from 10th to 23rd place.

Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel seal the deal

An ongoing deal in the mining industry is one between Tata Steel, part of the Indian corporation that just turned 150, and the German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp. The two steel giants signed a memorandum of understanding that will lead to a joint venture, merging their respective European operations under a new holding company based in the Netherlands. Thyssenkrupp’s brand value decreased this year by 25% to US$2.0 billion while Tata Steel improved 4 positions with its brand value increasing 19% to US$725 million. It is not yet clear if the new entity will remain dual-branded but the merger will surely have an impact on the respective brands.

Scandal shakes Japan steel giant

Kobelco’s brand value decreased 15% to US$953 million, amid concerns over the quality of products it supplied for use in cars and aircraft. The scandal also saw the company’s stock to plummet more than 20%. The real effect will only be seen in the coming months as Kobelco’s clients such as Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, GM, Mazda and others, are still assessing the potential consequences for their vehicles and the overall confidence in Japanese industry standards.

Hydro’s resurgence

Norway’s aluminium brand Hydro re-joins the table this year, after last appearing in the Brand Finance Mining, Iron & Steel 25 2015, surging 53% to US$605 million. Its brand value is expected to grow further through 2018 and beyond, following the company’s acquisition of Sapa.

View the Brand Finance Mining, Iron & Steel 25 2018 report here


Note to Editors

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 25 most valuable mining, iron, and steel brands in the world are included in the Brand Finance Mining, Iron & Steel 25 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 are available in the Brand Finance Mining, Iron & Steel 25 report.

Data compiled for the Brand Finance Mining, Iron & Steel 25 league table and report is provided for the benefit of the media and is not to be used for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

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.

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