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Holier Than Dow – BASF Defends Title of World’s Most Valuable Chemicals Brand

30 January 2020
This article is more than 4 years old.
  • With brand value of US$7.9 billion, BASF retains title of world’s most valuable chemicals brand and is sector’s strongest brand with AAA rating
  • Dow & DuPont are Brand Finance Chemicals 25 2020 ranking’s fastest-falling as products moved under new brand Corteva following demerger
  • SABIC is top 10’s fastest-growing brand, paving way for sustainability in sector
  • Linde jumps into 5th spot as brand value hits US$2.9 billion following merger with Praxair
  • China’s Rongsheng Petrochemical among new entrants as ranking extended to encompass sector’s 25 most valuable brands for first time

View the full Brand Finance Chemicals 25 2020 report here

German giant BASF defends its title as the world’s most valuable chemicals brand, according to the leading independent brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance. Despite suffering a 5% decrease in value since 2019, the brand has comfortably held on to its top spot in the Brand Finance Chemicals 25 2020 ranking, the latest iteration of the annual classification of the industry’s most valuable brands, extended to encompass 25 entries for the first time this year. Despite the decrease, caused by the general slowdown in the chemicals industry, BASF is valued at US$7.9 billion – over US$3 billion more than Dow in second place.

Over the last year, BASF has been expanding its business endeavours in Asia-Pacific, focusing on developing agricultural solutions in the region and encouraging climate-friendly farming methods, in line with BASF’s sustainable brand ethos. Recently announced plans to invest US$45 million to build a production plant in Tuas, Singapore, will boost the brand’s existing operations in the city-state to cover over 6,000 square metres.

Aside from determining overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics on marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. According to these criteria, BASF is also the sector’s strongest brand, and the only brand in the industry to boast an AAA brand rating this year.

Savio D’Souza, Valuation Director at Brand Finance, commented:

“BASF’s dominance is twofold – on one hand the result of a realignment towards customer proximity, competitiveness, and profitable growth, and on the other, the consequence of competitors’ weaknesses, as Dow and DuPont have spent the last year rearranging their capabilities following a demerger.”

Dow & DuPont’s value fragmented

The merger and demerger of Dow (down 29% to US$4.8 billion) and DuPont (down 33% to US$2.2 billion) has resulted in a noticeable drop in both brands’ values, making them the fastest falling in the Brand Finance Chemicals 25 2020 ranking. Their contraction follows wider merger and acquisition trends in the chemicals industry, which have slowed down this year due to rising interest rates, stock market volatility, ongoing trade tensions, and diminishing economic growth. In the case of Dow and DuPont, the dwindling brand values can be attributed in particular to the carving out of a third entity, Corteva (brand value US$1.8 billion), entering the ranking in 12th position.

SABIC continues growth

Saudi Arabian petrochemicals giant, SABIC (valued at US$4.3 billion), remains the third most valuable brand in the Brand Finance Chemicals 25 2020 ranking, enjoying a 9% boost to become the fastest-growing brand in the top 10. Over the last year, SABIC has been a shining star in the chemicals sector, heavily investing in its regions of operation, enshrining CSR at the centre of its brand ethos, and paving the way for sustainable innovation. This has most recently culminated in the brand’s intentions to develop its TruCircle initiative, aiming to close the loop on plastic recycling in association with global leaders in business and policy.

Savio D’Souza, Valuation Director at Brand Finance, commented:

“SABIC has demonstrated a considerable growth in brand strength over the last year, rising from an AA+ to an AAA- brand strength rating. It will be interesting to see how SABIC’s first global marketing campaign as well as the brand’s proposed acquisition by Saudi Aramco impact SABIC’s brand equity in the future.”

Linde jumps into top 5

Linde has taken the Brand Finance Chemicals 25 2020 ranking by storm, jumping into fifth place with a brand value of US$2.9 billion. The brand’s rise can be attributed to the decision to continue as Linde following the merger of equals with US gases giant, Praxair. This allows the brand to branch out into new territory, as it was not previously well-known in the US. Linde has also advanced its brand visibility in Asia by expanding operations in Shanghai, starting up a new air separation plant to supply nitrogen, oxygen, and argon to the world’s largest industrial gases group, HLMC.

China gains foothold

China is present in Brand Finance's ranking of the world's most valuable chemicals brands for the first time this year, following its extension to include 25 entries. Claiming 18th position with a brand value of US$1.4 billion, Rongsheng Petrochemical is exemplar of China’s aim to gain prominence in the chemicals industry, transitioning into a pioneer of innovation and trade prevailing in international markets. Rongsheng’s solid performance in the study has been boosted by increasing Chinese investment into the industry and is likely to advance further in the coming years with the increase in crude oil imports to the region.

View the full Brand Finance Chemicals 25 2020 report here

Note to Editors

Every year, Brand Finance values 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands. The 25 most valuable chemicals brands are included in the Brand Finance Chemicals 25 2020 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, charts, and more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Chemicals 25 2020 ranking.

Data compiled for Brand Finance’s 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.

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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