Brand is one of the most valuable assets any company has and yet it is often the least focussed upon, especially in times of crisis. Brand building requires a very specific effort beyond just sales and marketing and running campaigns. It must be on the agenda of the board on a regular basis, yet most boards may not even be aware of the value of their brand or what drives the value up or down. Brand is an asset that represents up to 20-30% of the value of the company or even higher.
Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test, evaluating which are the most powerful (by brand strength) and the most valuable (by brand value). Now in its 13th year, Brand Finance has just published the latest Brand Finance Singapore 100 2021 report - the most definitive ranking based on the value of the brands.
Brand Finance’s rankings are also the world’s only rankings that have a triple certification for robustness of analysis and as an ROI measure – the ISO 10668 (for brand valuation), the ISO 20671 (for brand evaluation) and the certification 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.
Formidable and dominant top three
The top three banks – DBS, OCBC,and UOB – have been performing well for many years and continue to dominate the ranking. DBS remains in a league of its own with a brand value of US$7.8 billion, despite recording an 8% drop in brand value. OCBC (down 6% to US$4.6 billion) and UOB (down 15% to US$4.0 billion) follow in second and third positions, respectively.
These three banks contribute 38% of the total brand value in the Brand Finance Singapore 100 2021 ranking, up marginally from 37% last year.
Focus on brand strength
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.
The average Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of the top 100 most valuable Singaporean brands has increased marginally from 61.5/100 last year to 61.8/100 in 2021. Most brands, however, have remained stagnant in brand strength, and while they may be doing well locally, they have been losing out to some of the key competitors in the region as they lack competitiveness outside of the Singapore market.
This year, DBS has replaced Singtel (down 17% to US$3.2 billion) as the nation’s strongest brand, with a BSI score of 87.1 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating. Despite relinquishing the top spot, Singtel still retains its AAA brand strength rating, the only other brand in the ranking to do so.
Tiger and Olam have both broken into the top 10 this year for the first time, pushing out CapitaLand (down 13% to US$887 million) and ComfortDelGro (down 24% to US$759 million) out. Tiger has recorded an impressive 25% brand value increase to US$911 million and simultaneously has jumped 10 spots in the ranking to 9th this year. Olam has jumped 5 spots in the ranking to 10th following a 13% brand value increase to US$897 million. Tiger and Olam are the only two brands in the top 10 that have recorded brand value increases.
MindChamps is the highest new entrant into the ranking in 58th place, with a brand value of US$58 million.
There are four further new entrants this year, including: AEM (brand value US$24 million) in 77th, Creative (brand value US$8 million) in 97th, UG Healthcare (brand value US$8 million) in 98th and MoneyMax (brand value US$7 million) in 100th.
Samir Dixit, Manging Director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific, commented:
“Unless companies have a strong brand agenda and are managing the strength and value of their brands in a concentrated manner, we will continue to see large year-on-year variations in brand value and brand strength in the Brand Finance Singapore 100 2021 ranking”.
Samir continues: “The big problem is the brand is left to a few people in the organisation to manage and is never a serious agenda for the board”. This is clear as most of the top management or the boards have no brand KPIs for themselves or their firms.”
“Most Singaporean brands are typically very communications focussed and misunderstand their campaigns – which are mostly digital these days - to be brand building initiatives, and that’s where they miss the big picture about the brand”. Added Samir.
Samir Dixit challenges that “Singaporean companies should be more brand-driven and not sales or offers-driven as this destroys the long-term value and the strength of the brand. Brand has to be a strategic agenda for the senior management and boards and must be managed like any other business asset and not just a legal trademark.”
“The banking sector continues to dominate the nation, making up 40% of the total brand value in the ranking. As Singapore further develops, we expect consolidation in the banking sector, so it will be interesting to see which brands remain. Banks who can digitalise and remain relevant will be the ones which will win.”
Samir highlighted that “Singaporean brands will likely face strong headwinds ahead as they lose out to some other brands in the region in terms of brand competitiveness and value growth. It is the brand strength for most brands that still remains a concern and also a significant risk. Brands must recognise this work towards mitigating it.”
Samir Dixit further commented that “The rankings still remain very top heavy raising further concern as the top 10 contributes over 62% of the total brand value. We would like to see more diverse mix at the top and a more significant value increase at the bottom, meaning other brands must start focussing on their brand value and strength.”
Note to Editors
Every year, Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, evaluating their strength and quantifying their value, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. Singapore’s top 100 most valuable brands are included in the Brand Finance Singapore 100 2021 report.
The full Brand Finance Singapore 100 2021 ranking, additional insights, charts, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Singapore 100 2021 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. Please see below for a full explanation of our methodology.
About Brand Finance
Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations 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 nearly 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.
Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardisation 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 value refers to the present value of earnings specifically related to brand reputation. Organisations own and control these earnings by owning trademark rights.
All brand valuation methodologies are essentially trying to identify this, although the approach and assumptions differ. As a result, published brand values can be different.
These differences are similar to the way equity analysts provide business valuations that are different to one another. The only way you find out the “real” value is by looking at what people really pay.
As a result, Brand Finance always incorporates a review of what users of brands actually pay for the use of brands in the form of brand royalty agreements, which are found in more or less every sector in the world.
This is known as the “Royalty Relief” methodology and is by far the most widely used approach for brand valuations since it is grounded in reality.
It is the basis for our public rankings but we always augment it with a real understanding of people’s perceptions and their effects on demand – from our database of market research on over 3000 brands in over 30 markets.
Brand Valuation Methodology
For our rankings, Brand Finance uses the simplest method possible to help readers understand, gain trust in, and actively use brand valuations.
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.
Our Brand Strength Index assessment, a balanced scorecard of brand-related measures, is also compliant with international standards (ISO 20671) and operates as a predictive tool of future brand value changes and a control panel to help business improving marketing.
We do this in the following four steps:
1. Brand Impact
We review what brands already pay in royalty agreements. This is augmented by an analysis of how brands impact profitability in the sector versus generic brands.
This results in a range of possible royalties that could be charged in the sector for brands (for example a range of 0% to 2% of revenue).
2. Brand Strength
We adjust the rate higher or lower for brands by analysing Brand Strength. We analyse brand strength by looking at three core pillars: “Investment” which are activities supporting the future strength of the brand; “Equity” which are real perceptions sourced from our original market research and other data partners; “Performance” which are brand-related measures of business results, such as market share.
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.
3. Brand Impact x Brand Strength
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. Brand Value Calculation
We determine brand-specific revenues as a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to the brand in question and forecast those revenues by analysing historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.
We then apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues and apply the relevant valuation assumptions to arrive at a discounted, post-tax 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.