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Dialog rings itself to the top of Sri Lanka’s most valuable brands

02 May 2019
This article is more than 5 years old.
  • Valued at Rs. 54.2 billion, Dialog takes the No. 1 position for the very first time
  • Dialog’s achievement linked to being the strongest brand (with a AAA rating) for 7 consecutive years
  • BOC, the No.2 brand, sets a new benchmark in the sector by surpassing Rs. 50 billion in brand value
  • LMD’s Brands Annual to release full results shortly

View the full Brand Finance Sri Lanka 100 2019 ranking here

Brand Finance Lanka, the pioneering brand valuation and strategy firm, released its 16th consecutive review of Sri Lanka’s most valuable and strongest brands in LMD’s Brands Annual.

The launch event, scheduled for the 30th April, was cancelled as a mark of respect to the many people who were affected and lost their lives in the tragic Easter Sunday attacks.

In 2019, following global trends, Dialog takes the coveted most valuable brand title for the very first time. This move paves the way for other technology savvy brands to follow.

Ruchi Gunewardene, Managing Director of Brand Finance Lanka commenting on the results said:

“we congratulate Dialog for being the No. 1 brand in this year’s index. It is a signal which recognizes the first wave of change that we foresee in line with global trends. Technology brands have become the most valuable by displacing many of the legacy brands in banking and consumer goods sectors across the world”.

The rise of technology brands is seen in the Brand Finance Global 500 where the top 5 positions are Amazon followed by Apple, Google, Samsung and Facebook in that order. These brands have overtaken the old legacy brands such as Coca-Cola, Citibank, Walmart, Toyota, HSBC and GE amongst others, dramatically changing the business and brand landscape within a short period of 10 years.

BOC the No. 2 brand on the list has also performed creditably, with a growth of 21% and exceeding the Rs. 50 billion value mark with a brand value of Rs. 51.9 billion, setting a new benchmark for the banking sector.

Gunewardene commented:

“at an overall level, this year’s results do not auger well for some of the established brands. It is clear, if they don’t transform, it is a matter of time before they lose their position. Our review has shown that two types of strategies have succeeded to bring brands to the top of our index. One is long term strategic brand building as opposed to tactical or ad hoc focus on campaigns. The other is to holistically embrace technology, not as an add on to the business, but as a total transformative process. We don’t have many brands following these paths, but there are a few examples, and they are making big strides on our index”.

Success using both strategies: Dialog

Dialog has been the model of branding excellence. It has adopted both the strategies of brand excellence and technology adoption to get to the top. Dialog is a technology company, so it has the advantage of not having to embrace the transformation required by non tech brands. It has on the other hand been on a long journey of brand building. For 7 years on the Brand Finance Index, Dialog has been the strongest brand, having a AAA rating. This is indicative of the meticulous way in which they have been building brand strength and creating brand value. They have been able to live the brand proposition “The Future. Today” with its employees whilst also delivering it in a credible manner to customers.

Its sleek and innovative brand perception runs consistently through all its products, services and retail sites. Its mono-brand structure has created marketing efficiencies and has helped to cement its brand on an aspirational platform amongst customers. Reliability, user-friendly interfaces, knowledgeable staff and bringing cutting edge transformative technology meant that the brand fulfilled its promise. Also, its ability to cross-sell to customers through the various streams of businesses from telecommunications to data and media, has enabled strong advocacy to be built.

Success using technology adoption: Sampath Bank

Whilst the banking brands have shown good growth in value this year, there is a definitive trend towards the smaller, more nimble brands rapidly catching up with the established ones. The biggest threat to the large private sector banks comes from Sampath Bank, which jumped one spot from No. 8 to No. 7 position in the index, with a massive brand value increase of 33%. This is significant traction for a brand of this size, and they seem to have the momentum to carry this over the long term. Sampath Bank has aggressively adopted technology and has embraced it holistically which seems to be having a positive impact on driving revenue and brand value performance.

This was a year in which the smaller banking brands performed well. Nations Trust, DFCC, Seylan and NDB are the fastest growing brands in this sector. Their small size provides them with the agility that the larger banks do not have. This, coupled with embracing technology, enables them to meet the flexible and dynamic online needs of the new, younger customers.

Success using brand building: Keells

This year is a significant inflection point in the supermarket category, with the emergence of Keells as the most valuable supermarket brand, taking over from the long-standing leader Cargills Food City for the first time. There have been massive changes in this sector recently, with rebranding of nearly all the major players such as Keells, Cargills Food City, Laugfs and even the launch of a new brand Glomark.

What is noteworthy amongst the sector is the growth in value of Keells. There was a 52% increase in brand value, which enabled it to surpass the value of Cargills Food City. The significant growth in brand value was primarily driven by increased revenues, which was 26%.

Of the main supermarket retailers, Keells opted to make the most dramatic rebranding change - from its dominant red and smiley faced brand identity, there was a complete make over in green to singularly support its proposition on freshness. They are now introducing a freshness guarantee return policy which offers customers double the money back on any fresh produce they are dissatisfied with. This introduction from Keells marks one of the major post rebranding initiatives. It demonstrates that caring for customers and delivering the freshest produce each and every day is of utmost importance.

For the first time, we are seeing a brand boldly follow through on their promise by squarely putting the responsibility to the customer to evaluate and respond to the claim they are making. This is a convincing way of living the brand, by putting the customer into the very heart of the business.

Gunewardene concluded by saying:

“we complete our 16th consecutive review of brands in Sri Lanka under a pall of gloom and great sadness which has enveloped us all due to the events of Easter Sunday. This, without doubt will negatively impact the performance of all the brands in the current year. Looking to the future, we anticipate a negative performance when we next carry out our review in 2020 across many sectors. We anticipate it will be those brands which have a strong coherent and strategically well thought through brand framework with a clear brand management process which will be able to sustain performance under these trying conditions”.

Sri Lanka’s most valuable and strongest brands are identified through detailed analysis of data that is obtained from an exclusive market research study carried out by an independent market research firm and publicly available financial information on companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. The comprehensive review of all the brands with related analysis will shortly be available in LMD’s 2019 Brands Annual.

Brand Finance plc, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy, advises strongly branded organisations on developing brand strategies and maximising their brand value through effective management of their brands. Brand Finance was founded in 1996 in London and has a network of offices across the world including a joint venture in Sri Lanka, which was established in 2004. Brand Finance Lanka is a full-fledged office which has performed many brand strategy and valuation projects for Sri Lankan businesses.


Note to Editors
Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values Sri Lanka’s biggest brands. The 100 most valuable brands in the Sri Lanka are included in the Brand Finance Sri Lanka 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, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Sri Lanka 2019 ranking.

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 Committee (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 league tables 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.

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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