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Canada’s Most Valuable Brands Revealed – Circle K Surges into Top 10

03 May 2019
This article is more than 5 years old.
  • Overtaking Tim Hortons, McCain, and Thomson Reuters, Circle K is now one of the top 10 most valuable brands of Canada
  • Registering an impressive 111% growth in brand value, Parkland Fuel is the nation’s fastest-growing brand
  • Claiming the top 5 spots in the ranking for the first time, Canadian banks continue to punch above their weight on a global stage
  • Economic pressures reflecting on telcos as brand values dip
  • Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index ranks WestJet as Canada’s strongest brand of 2019, with a score of 88.3 out of 100

View the full Brand Finance Canada 100 ranking here

Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard’s convenience store brand Circle K makes its debut in the top 10 of Canada’s most valuable brands ranking, following a solid 67% growth in brand value to $7.7 billion in 2019, according to the latest report by leading independent brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance.

Circle K is the nation’s fifth fastest-growing brand in the Brand Finance Canada 100 2019 report and was just recently revealed as the fastest-growing retail brand in the world. Alimentation Couche Tard is continuing to consolidate its brand portfolio of Statoil, Mac’s, and Kangaroo Express under the singular Circle K brand, allowing it to jump up from 16th place last year to 10th in this year’s ranking.

Charlie Scarlett-Smith, Marketing Director at Brand Finance Canada, commented:

“The mono-brand approach bodes well for the growth of Circle K’s future brand value and strength, not just in Canada, but around the world. Transitionary periods are often associated with lower brand strength rating and score. Circle K’s current brand strength is A+ with a Brand Strength Index score of 64.1 out of 100, which is bound to improve as the customer stakeholder equity - like familiarity, recommendation, consideration, and preference - transfers over from Mac’s, Statoil, and Kangaroo Express.”

Parkland Fuel – Canada’s fastest-growing brand

Calgary-based Parkland Fuel is Canada’s fastest growing brand of 2019, with outstanding brand value growth that comes on the heels of a successful acquisition of Ultramar and Chevron Canada’s downstream business. Parkland Fuel has also sought to diversify its brand portfolio, adding the private label brand 59th Street Food Co to their gas station retail operations.

Alex Haigh, North America Director at Brand Finance, said:

“The Parkland Fuel brand grew this year by a whopping 111% to a total value of $679m, reflected in a rise in the Canada 100 ranking from 98th to 76th overall. Parkland Fuel continues to seek out acquisition opportunities. Coupled with strong year-over-year financial results and forecast revenues, this points towards continued brand value growth in the years to come.”

Canadian banks dominate

For the first time in the history of the Brand Finance Canada 100 ranking, all top 5 spots are occupied by banking brands. RBC defends its title of Canada’s most valuable brand, following a strong 26% growth to $22.7 billion. Higher than expected forecasted revenues and continued successful international expansion have spurred Canada’s banking brand values and this year, TD ($18.3 billion) ranks 2nd, followed by Scotiabank ($14.7 billion) taking 3rd. BMO ($13.2 billion) and CIBC ($10.4 billion) are in 4th and 5th place respectively.

Among the world’s 500 most valuable banking brands, the combined brand values of Canadian banks now total $87.5 billion, as they continue to push their presence internationally, reaping the rewards of their stable and trustworthy reputations. For the first time ever, the cumulative value of Canadian banking brands outstrips the total value of UK banking brands, coming behind only the US and China.

Telecom brands dip

Canadian telco giants Bell (down -24% to $10.3 billion), TELUS (down -7% to $9.0 billion), and Rogers (down -12% to $8.7 billion) all decreased in brand value this year, a result of wider economic pressures, increased price competition, and decreasing margins in an increasingly competitive space. Outside of the country’s big three, the story tells a similar tale: BCE and Cogeco, also decreased in brand value.

Going against this trend is Videotron, growing 18% in brand value to $2.0 billion. Despite the brand’s relatively smaller size, it has performed well in terms of brand equity, registering high levels of consideration, preference, and recommendation, and setting a path for strong growth.

Sponsorship is one of the main battlegrounds for telco brand awareness. Rogers, Bell, and TELUS lead the charge and are willing to spend tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship endeavours. Sponsorships are essential, but their efficacy is harder to track internally. As margins continue to be squeezed, evaluating the ROI on sponsorship will be front and centre in the coming years.

Canada’s Strongest Brands per Sector

Aside from calculating brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands using a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

Airlines: WestJet at cruising altitude

For a second consecutive year, WestJet features as Canada’s strongest brand with an improved Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.3 out of 100, and a corresponding brand rating of AAA. The airline scored well on aspects related to consideration, familiarity, preference, recommendation, and reputation, far out-performing the average in the airline sector.

Spirits: Crown Royal

Crown Royal has set its roots deep into Canada’s DNA. This year, Crown Royal is the second strongest brand in Canada, and the strongest alcohol and spirits brand in the world. It is one of only two brands to achieve a AAA brand rating with a brand strength index score of 86.8 out of 100. With the backing of parent company Diageo, Crown Royal has fast become an international brand, beloved globally, not just by Canadians.

Retail: Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire is Canada’s strongest Retail brand with a brand strength index score of 78.8, scoring well in brand investment measures, as reflected in their successful brand promotion and marketing campaigns. CTC’s overall portfolio of brands, including SportChek and Gas+, is valued at $5.2 billion. With the successful acquisition of Helly Hansen, this number is only set to grow.

Telecoms: TELUS

TELUS, with its AAA- brand rating and a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 84.7 out of 100, maintains the title as Canada’s strongest telecoms brand, and is the third strongest brand in the ranking. Backed up by high innovation, reputation, and solid CSR scores, the TELUS brand has remained relatively immune to broader environmental and economic changes in the Canadian telecoms market.

Food: McCain

The McCain brand has moved from strength to strength with an improved brand strength score of 75.8, and brand rating of AA+. McCain is the global leader in the frozen foods market, which is only set to grow in the years to come.

Insurance: Intact

Intact is this year’s strongest Insurance brand taking the top spot from Sun Life, with a brand strength score of 81.7, and a brand rating of AAA-. Achieving high scores across the board, Intact registers particularly strong results in brand preference, recommendation and reputation.

Crown Royal

Crown Royal has set its roots deep into Canada’s DNA. This year, Crown Royal is the second strongest brand in Canada, and the strongest alcohol and spirits brand in the world. It is one of only two brands to achieve a AAA brand rating with a brand strength index score of 86.8 out of 100. With the backing of parent company Diageo, Crown Royal has fast become an international brand, beloved globally, not just by Canadians.

Provincial Analysis


A total of six companies from BC are featured in the Brand Finance Canada 100 2019, a relatively low number of brands when compared against the size of the province’s economy. This is largely a reflection of Toronto’s domination as Canada’s corporate capital, however the west coast province is home to some of the most exciting brands in the ranking.

Athletic-wear disruptor Lululemon is this year’s second fastest-growing brand in Canada. As one of the youngest brands in the table, Lululemon still has plenty of room to assert itself on a global stage. Future growth forecasts are backed up by plans to open more international locations and diversify its brand offering to target wider audiences and activities.

Although less in the limelight, First Quantum are the fourth fastest-growing brand in Canada and now the third most valuable brand in BC. Recent plans to expand its Cobre Panama copper development project indicate that the First Quantum brand is set to increase its already strong margins.


It should come as no surprise that Alberta’s top 5 is dominated by oil and gas brands. The Albertan economy is still recovering from the recession that plunged the province into economic turmoil in 2015 and 2016, and the continued uncertainty over the trans-mountain pipeline is reflective of the somewhat sputtering progress that has been made over the last four years.

Things are not all doom and gloom however, on average Albertan brands are up 16% in brand value. On the retail side of the oil and gas sector, Parkland Fuel is the fastest-growing brand in Canada, up 111%. Petro-Canada has also seen a substantial increase in brand value up 23% to $2.4 billion, making it the 6th most valuable Albertan brand.

Posting strong margins in 2018, CP is the 4th fastest growing brand in Alberta, and has moved up one spot to be the 3rd most valuable brand in Alberta, displacing Shaw. Beneficial tax changes have also boosted forecasted revenues for the Albertan rail company. Edmonton’s WestJet is one of only two brands to score an AAA rating, the other being Canada’s favourite whisky, Crown Royal.

The next few years are crucial to Albertan brands, particularly in the oil and gas sector. There is still a long way to go until halcyon days return to Alberta.


Toronto is Canada’s financial hub – you only need to look up to see the banking brands that dominate the city’s skyline. A total of 39 Ontarian brands make this year’s top 100, more than any other province. Most of those 39 brands are in Toronto and the GTA. The top 4 brands in Ontario are also in the top 5 nationally.

Brookfield is new to the top 5 this year, displacing Rogers which fell to 6th overall in Ontario. Constellation Software is the fastest-growing brand in Ontario, growing 55% this year and rising 12 spots to 41st overall. Investors are flocking to Constellation after it posted high ROE scores. The Waterloo-based software brand continues to outdo analyst expectations and has become a brand to watch.

Following a rocky 2018, Tim Hortons is Ontario’s strongest brand with a brand rating of AAA-. Although their Canadian consumer base may still be reeling from last year controversies, the fast-food coffee chain continues to grow internationally. Tim Hortons has now expanded to the US, Mexico, Europe, the Philippines, Middle East, and China. For the new store opening in Shanghai it was reported that customers waited for 6 hours for a double-double, a wait time even the most patient Canadian rush-hour customer would balk at.


Quebec is home to 32 of nation’s top 100 brands in the Brand Finance Canada 100 2019. Although in recent years Quebec’s economy has played second fiddle to its neighbouring Ontario, there are signs that the tides are slowly shifting. On average, Quebec brands increased in value by 19%, the highest of any province in Canada.

Quebec is home to many of Canada’s traditional brands, which is reflected in the top 5, and it is fast becoming a hub for emerging technologies. This drive has centred around Montreal, now a global hub for the AI, VFX, video-game, aerospace and information-technology sectors. Government incentives, low operating and real estate costs are also continuing to draw outside interest. Quebec is now firmly an attractive province for investment, an unimaginable thought 35 years ago.

New Entrants to the Brand Finance Canada 100 2019

The 2019 edition of the Brand Finance Canada 100 report features twelve new brands:

  • Nutrien has come into the ranking with the highest position - 40th overall with a brand value of $2.0 billion. Following the successful merger of Agrium and the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Nutrien is now the world’s largest fertilizer brand.
  • Upon completion of the Berger acquisition, Wsp Global, with a brand value of $649 million, is set to disrupt SNC-Lavalin’s current reign over the Canadian Engineering sector.
  • Emera registered record earnings in 2018 that surpassed analyst expectations.
  • New Flyer is moving from strength to strength, spearheading the Canadian electric bus market.
  • A&W debuts in the Canada 100 at 87th overall with a brand value of $550 million. Now with over 900 locations and increased exposure in prime downtown locations, and successful Canadian driven marketing campaigns, A&W’s brand value is set to only grow.
  • Sealtest and Quebon are two new additions from Agropur’s brand portfolio. USMCA may be threatening Canadian diary and complicating long-term investment goals, but Agropur seem to be business as usual, and business is good.
  • Strong margins and forecast revenues have pushed Gibson Energy into the top 100. An indication that things are slowly but surely on the move for Alberta’s oil and gas sector.
  • Seagram’s brand success comes on the heels of higher than expected forecast revenue growth.
  • Year on Year, Collier’s revenue measures have increased across the board and it is a brand that shows no sign of slowing growth.
  • Transcontinental is growing quickly as revenues spike beyond analyst expectations.
  • Rounding off the new additions, Enerplus Corp in at 100th with a brand value of $413 million, like Gibson’s energy, Enerplus’s success is another good sign that the oil and gas sector is getting back on its feet.


Note to Editors

Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands by industry and geography. The 100 most valuable Canadian brands are included in the Brand Finance Canada 100 2019 ranking.

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 and charts, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Canada 100 2019 report.

Brand Finance helped craft the internationally recognized 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 ICAEW and also the first brand valuation consultancy to join the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).

The methodology used to produce the annual Brand Finance rankings of the most valuable and strongest brands across all sectors and countries has been certified with the Marketing Accountability Standards Board’s (MASB) Marketing Metric Audit Protocol (MMAP).

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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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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