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RBC is Canada’s Most Valuable Brand

24 May 2018
This article is more than 6 years old.

RBC achieves strong growth to maintain title as Canada’s most valuable brand
Tim Hortons brand grows under pressure
Videotron earns Canada’s fastest growing brand valuation
Manulife grows quickly, to become most valuable insurance brand in Canada
WestJet is Canada’s strongest brand ahead of Telus

View the full report on Canada’s 100 most valuable brands here

RBC’s brand value grew by 4% to $17.3 billion, maintaining its leadership position as Canada’s most valuable brand for a fifth consecutive year, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. RBC extended its lead at the top of the Brand Finance Canada 100 league table ahead of TD (brand value down 5% to $15.6 billion).

RBC now leads the country in brand value with a compelling proposition focused on building customer loyalty and achieving strong reviews amongst its key stakeholders. Compared to other Canadian banks, RBC has the highest loyalty amongst existing customers with 83% of survey respondents confirming that they are likely, or very likely to continue using the bank next year. Existing customers also gave RBC top marks for familiarity, consideration, preference, and reputational strength – ahead of its key competitors.

Prior to this year, RBC’s brand value was only slightly ahead of TD’s. However, over the last twelve months, RBC has grown, while TD’s brand value has seen a drop. In 2017, RBC achieved record earnings, demonstrating the power of their business model across personal and commercial banking, capital markets, investor and treasury services, insurance, and wealth management. This allowed the bank to deliver a return on equity of 17%.

Looking ahead, RBC’s strong brand is likely to be a powerful asset as the Canadian economy is forecast to grow in 2018 and unemployment is likely to remain at some of the lowest levels since the 1970s. With the Bank of Canada considering future interest rate rises, and uncertainty around possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, RBC’s brand strength may be instrumental in maintaining consumer confidence in their product range.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“RBC has shown strong growth over the last year and left TD behind to earn a standalone position as Canada’s most valuable brand. Its leadership role across the broader Canadian economy is a new opportunity for RBC to leverage its brand to maintain financial growth. Most importantly, RBC’s brand strength is not just built upon a successful advertising campaign, but rather, a deep and valuable foundation of service to its customers.”

Scotiabank and TD follow in RBC’s wake with high brand value rankings
While TD lost a little brand value over the last year, Scotiabank (brand value up 13% to $12.7 billion) grew strongly to narrow the gap as the fourth-most valuable brand in Canada and as the third-most valuable bank. Scotiabank’s brand value growth was correlated with increased revenue forecasts and strong positive brand sentiment amongst key stakeholders.

Tim Hortons Brand Grows Under Pressure
Tim Hortons (brand value up 17% to $6.3 billion) has experienced widespread media criticism, but their brand strength grew despite these challenges. While some stakeholders have argued that the brand is losing its Canadian identity under foreign ownership, consumers appear to not be factoring this into their purchasing decisions. This resilience can prove valuable as Tim Hortons, now Canada’s fifth strongest brand, expands into foreign markets.

Videotron earns Canada’s fastest growing brand valuation
Videotron (up 124% to $1.7 billion) had an extremely positive year as the fastest growing brand in the Brand Finance Canada 100 league table. Videotron’s brand was significantly boosted by a 19.5% increase in mobile telephone revenue, in line with global trends towards increased data traffic (relative to voice traffic) on mobile networks. In addition to increasing average monthly revenue per user by 6.7%, Videotron also increased the number of its users, registering its millionth mobile phone subscriber in November.

Looking forward, Videotron is investing heavily in content distribution, integrating more content services with its existing network services. This included a strategic partnership with Comcast to provide more on-demand television content to users. This represents a strong strategic response to a challenge facing telecommunication carriers globally – how to extract more value in the content delivery pipeline and avoid merely being infrastructure providers in the future.

Manulife grows quickly, to become most valuable insurance brand in Canada
Manulife (up 61% to $4.1 billion) rose from 23rd to 17th spot among Canadian brands, to maintain its position as Canada’s most valuable insurance brand ahead of Sun Life (up 35% to $3.2 billion). The Manulife brand was driven by a strong increase in earnings, caused by higher investment gains, strong new business and growth in Asia.

WestJet is Canada’s strongest brand
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to these criteria, WestJet (brand value down 9% to $1.0 billion) was the strongest Canadian brand. While it has faced significant challenges over the last year (most notably, the unionization of pilots, and extreme weather conditions in the third quarter) its ability to overcome those challenges is strengthening the brand. For example, WestJet took proactive action to mitigate the weather problems by rescheduling dozens of flights before the storms arrived, and several post-storm rescue flights to retrieve stranded people (including both WestJet passengers, and Canadians more broadly). These flights were also able to transport almost 6 tonnes of humanitarian supplies for the Canadian Red Cross.

Looking forward, WestJet is increasingly stretching its wings as it seeks to provide services which are authentically Canadian and uniquely WestJet. Successful brand differentiation will help to extend their network to new destinations in Canada and further afield.

View the full Brand Finance Canada 100 2018 report here


Note to Editors

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 100 most valuable brands in Canada are included in the Brand Finance Canada 100 2018 league table.

Brand value is equal to a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand. Brand strength is used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand.

More information about the methodology as well as definitions of key terms is available in the Brand Finance Canada 100 2018 report.
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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