On September 9th Queen Elizabeth II will become the longest serving monarch in British history. Her majesty acceded to the throne on February 6th 1952, meaning that Queen Victoria’s record of 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes will soon be broken. This milestone has already begun to reignite debates about the Monarchy’s future and whether it is an asset or a drain on the British economy.
Specialist brand and business valuation agency Brand Finance sought to answer this question at the time of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, finding the Monarchy’s value at that point to be in excess of £44 billion (US$67bn). Brand Finance’s latest update to that figure suggests that as the Queen becomes Britain’s longest reigning sovereign, the institution that she leads is more valuable than ever. It is now worth just under £57 billion (US$87bn) and will make a net contribution to the economy this year of £1.155bn (US$1.767bn).
Brand Finance has estimated the value of the Monarchy, often known colloquially as ‘The Firm’, as if it were a business. First, the annual contribution to the UK economy has been estimated. Costs such as the Sovereign Grant, security and maintenance of palaces have been netted off against sources of income including the uplift to tourism, the price premium commanded by brands with Royal Warrants, the surplus generated by the Crown Estate. This net annual contribution amounts to £1.155 (US$1.767bn) in 2015.
When this contribution is projected into perpetuity, it has a net present value of £36.7 billion. To this are added The Firm’s tangible assets (the Crown Estate, the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster and the Crown Jewels) to reach a total of £56.7 billion (US$86.7bn).
Brand Finance Chief Executive David Haigh comments: “As Queen Elizabeth approaches this historic milestone, she heads a Royal Family near a peak of popularity. Yet the old debate over whether the Monarchy should be retained continues to rage. The principle of whether monarchy is an appropriate and fair form of government in the 21st century certainly remains open to question. However Brand Finance’s research shows that from an economic standpoint at least, the royalists firmly have the upper hand.”
“Brand Finance helps organisations to maximise the returns from their assets so our obvious next step is to work out whether ‘The Firm’ could be worth even more. The value of the ‘Royal brand’ should not be underestimated; the undervaluation of the ‘Royal’ aspect of the Royal Mail brand was one of the key reasons behind the sudden jump in its share price immediately after its IPO.
“A Royal Warrant can confer a significant premium to brands in certain industries such as luxury, food, sporting goods and fashion, yet are currently awarded at no cost to the holder. The introduction of royalties could provide a significant new revenue stream. The unofficial endorsement of Charlotte, George and Kate in particular has a profound financial effect running into millions annually. The demand for authentic connection to or emulation of key members of the royal family is by no means fulfilled. This too presents a major opportunity.
“Though the ‘monetization’ of the Monarchy may sound beyond the pale to some, in straightened times of continuing austerity in Britain, the Royal Family may come under increasing pressure to pay its way in more ways than it does now.”
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.
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 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 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.