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Retail Brands Steam Ahead in Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 Ranking

27 January 2022

TikTok Named World’s Fastest-Growing Brand

  • Retail is nation’s most valuable sector in Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking
  • Woolworths most valuable brand for 3rd consecutive year, up 9% to AU$13.7 billion
  • Bunnings becomes nation’s strongest brand, scoring 88.5 out of 100
  • Challenges for big 4 banks, while Macquarie bucks industry trends with 34% growth
  • Reputation dent for telecoms brands despite 10% cumulative brand value increase
  • Flight Centre up 68% as leisure and tourism brands begin recovery from pandemic
  • TikTok named world’s fastest-growing brand in Brand Finance Global 500 2022 ranking
  • Apple holds on to world’s most valuable brand title with record value – US$355 billion
  • WeChat named world’s strongest brand 2nd year running with elite AAA+ rating

View the full Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 report here

The total value of Australia’s top 100 brands has risen by 11% to reach AU$161billion, according to a new report published today. 66 of the brands in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking saw an increase in brand value, while 22 dropped, 2 remained stable, and 10 new brands entered the ranking. All major industries in Australia have risen in terms of total brand value, including banking (up 7%), mining (up 27%), telecoms (up 10%), and retail (up 15%).

Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. Australia’s top 100 most valuable and strongest publicly listed brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Australia 100 ranking.

The retail sector remains the most valuable in the ranking for the second consecutive year, with a cumulative brand value of AU$40.4 billion. Accounting for 25% of the nation’s total brand value, Australian retailers have enjoyed a brand value growth of 15%, outperforming other key players in telecoms and banking.

This trend was largely spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers spent more time at home seeking not just entertainment, but also online shopping and home improvement projects. Subsequently, brands able to embrace e-commerce and those offering essential goods and services have forged ahead, with 16 of the 17 retailers in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking recording brand value growth.     

Australia’s biggest supermarket chain, Woolworths has maintained its spot as the most valuable brand in Australia for the third consecutive year, following a 9% boost to its brand value to reach AU$13.7 billion. Holding a 33% market share, Woolworths has been pivotal in keeping the supply chain going throughout the pandemic. Over the last year, the brand has demonstrated an ability to adapt to the shifting retail landscape, expanding its online capability to better serve its large customer base. The brand’s strong reputation, loyal customers, and lower risk over the last year helped to navigate any potentially detrimental effects to its brand value caused by Endeavour Group’s demerger, of which Woolworths owned 15%.

Woolworths’ main competitor, Coles, held on to its 4th spot in the ranking, enjoying a 26% brand value increase to AU$9.9 billion. Over the last year, Coles has continued to demonstrate flexibility and innovation in the face of unprecedented demand from shoppers who stocked up on essential items ahead of local lockdowns.

Officeworks (up 45% to AU$473 million) and Harvey Norman (up 5% to AU$3.7 billion) have enjoyed a year-on-year brand value increase as home improvements and maintenance spend increased following two-thirds of the Australian workforce transitioning to remote working during lockdowns last year. As the nation’s largest supplier of office and stationary products, Officeworks has enjoyed a particularly fruitful two years, crowned as the fastest-growing brand last year and benefiting from a further growth in revenue and forecast this year.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director of Brand Finance Australia, commented:

“The Australian retail sector has moved from strength to strength during the pandemic, overtaking the once-dominating banking industry to become the nation’s most valuable. While leading Australian brands such as Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings, and Officeworks have thrived, the sector will need to continue to innovate and keep up with new trends to continue on this positive trajectory in a post-pandemic society.”

Bunnings nation’s strongest

Apart from calculating 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. Certified by ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from around 100,000 respondents in over 35 countries and across nearly 30 sectors.

Retail brands have outperformed other sectors in terms of brand strength, with 4 of the top 5 strongest Australian brands belonging to this sector. Over the last year, retailers have strengthened their brands due to the pandemic, which allowed them to keep their doors open while much of the economy was closed and take up a greater share of voice in the advertising space.

Bunnings has leaped 8 spots to become Australia’s strongest brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.5 out of 100 (up 7 points) and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating. Over the last year, Bunnings has remained top-of-mind for Australian consumers by continuing to provide essential household and trade goods as well as spurring the country’s vaccination programme by setting up pop-up vaccination clinics in remote areas.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director of Brand Finance Australia, commented:

“Bunnings’ efforts in responding to residential and trade demand along with aiding the vaccination rollout has not gone unnoticed by consumers, who ranked the retailer particularly highly in terms of quality, innovation, value for money, loyalty and customer service”

Fellow retailers, Woolworths and Officeworks, have enjoyed a similar brand strength growth, rounding off the nation’s top 3 strongest brands in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

Woolworths’ brand strength has improved by +3.2 points to reach a BSI score of 86.9 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating. Over the last year, the brand has gained in favour with consumers, who consider Woolworths an industry-leading brand in terms of reconsideration, and quality.

Similarly, Officeworks has become a household name for most Australians looking for office supplies while working from home, improving its BSI score by +6.3 points to reach 86.5 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.

Coles is now the 4th strongest brand, up from 7th place in 2021. The brand’s 3-point BSI increase was mainly due to improved public perceptions for innovation and quality in its products, as well as high CSR scores. Coles continues to make steps towards becoming Australia’s most sustainable supermarket through its sustainability strategy.

With a BSI score of 84.4 out of 100 and AAA- brand strength rating, the NRMA has consolidated its top 10 ranking and is now the strongest brand within the Australian insurance industry, performing particularly well for its quality, reputation, and innovation.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director of Brand Finance Australia, commented:

“As the strongest brand in the insurance industry, the NRMA is now also the highest ranked in the wider financial services sector moving ahead of the top four banks. NRMA remains an esteemed brand amongst consumers, who continue to praise its quality and reputation”

Another notable mention is, Qantas,which has re-entered the top 10 strongest Australian brands, jumping 5 spots to 7th position. The airline brand currently holds a BSI score of 82.4 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA- brand strength rating, indicating a strong recovery from the sector-wide standstill caused by the pandemic.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director of Brand Finance Australia, commented:

“Qantas’ recovery is testament to the iconic brand’s enduring strength that fortified the business against the impact of the pandemic, but also ensured it was well placed to take advantage of the recovery in the airline sector”.

Mixed results for banking brands

With an overall brand value growth of 7%, Australian banks appear to be on the slow road to recovery following an 11% loss in 2021. However, as traditional banking brands are increasingly challenged by smaller emerging brands pushing into digitalisation, negative customer perceptions of quality and innovation have driven down brand strength across the big 4.

Commonwealth Bank (brand value down 2% to AU$8.9 billion) has dropped from third to fifth most valuable brand in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking. The last year has also seen Commonwealth Bank lose its mantle as the nation’s strongest, dropping down to eighth position, but remaining the strongest banking brand.

Similarly, ANZ (brand value down 3% to AU$6.2 billion), nab (brand value up 6% to AU$5.9 billion), and Westpac (brand value up 7% to AU$5.2 billion) have suffered brand strength losses due to lower scores across customer perception metrics. As of January 2022, these banks are also embroiled in lawsuits pertaining to consumer credit insurance claims, driving down perceptions of their consideration, reputation, and value for money.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director of Brand Finance Australia, commented:

“As Australian consumers are less inclined to choose the traditional banking industry, the big four brands have declined in strength, exacerbated by issues pertaining to misleading consumers over credit insurance. While the traditional banks remain a stalwart of the Australian banking industry in name, their brands will have to work hard on improving reputation to defend the competition from smaller emerging banks and nimble fin tech brands.”

Bucking industry trends, Macquarie’s brand value has grown by 34% to reach AU$4.7 billion due to its strong revenue forecasts and plans to expand its brand portfolio. Macquarie also enjoyed a boost to its BSI score, which currently stands at 69.2 out of 100 with a corresponding AA- rating.

Telecoms face challenges

Following a devastating 16% cumulative brand value loss in 2021, Australian telecoms brands may be slowly turning the tide. This year, telecoms brands in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking have enjoyed an overall growth of 10%, with new entrant, Vodafone (brand value AU$409 million), also entering the ranking in 78th position. While this growth has been insufficient to return to pre-pandemic levels, the sector has benefitted from a more stable outlook and reduced perceptions of risk overall.

Australian telecoms brands, however, continue to struggle against declining brand strength scores caused by decreasing customer perceptions of value for money, consideration, and reputation. This has been partly sparked by questions surrounding telecoms brands’ selling practices, criticism of the disparity of the 5G rollout, and ongoing federal court proceedings against Telstra (brand value up 7% to AU$10.2 billion), Optus (brand value up 5% to AU$4.0 billion), and TPG Telecom (brand value up 63% to Au$475 million) over alleged false NBN maximum speeds.

Nevertheless, Telstra has held on to its spot as the second most valuable brand in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking, behind Woolworths.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director of Brand Finance Australia, commented:

“Despite an overall increase in brand value, Australian telcos continue to face challenges that impact their brand strength, including a diminishing sense of trust amongst consumers. The challenge for larger telecoms brands is the need to make significant steps to improve customer relations and, subsequently, their reputations.”

Flight Centre up 68%

Australian travel agency, Flight Centre is the third fastest-growing brand in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking, behind Seven (up 78% to AU$564 million) and Lindeman’s (up 75% to AU$896 million). At the beginning of 2021, Flight Centre was the fastest-falling brand in Australia, experiencing a 58% decrease in brand value due to disruptions to the global travel industry caused by the pandemic. This year, the brand has reclaimed much of its value, rising by 68% to AU$683 million as the leisure and tourism industry slowly makes steps towards recovery.

Flight Centre’s growth is largely attributable to a significant recovery in revenue and forecasts as well as a discount rate decrease due to a much more stable travel industry. The brand has also shown a significant 5-point improvement in its brand strength, with a BSI score of 70.9 out of 100 and corresponding AA rating. This has been largely driven by an improvement in CSR scores, as well as in metrics of monthly web visits, as consumers begin to form travel plans for the coming year.

A similar growth is observed for all leisure and tourism brands in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking, including, The Star (up 62% to AU$662 million) and Tabcorp (up 24% to AU$949 million). The sector also includes 3 new entrants this year, Keno (brand value AU$1.2 billion), BetEasy (brand value AU$450 million), and Corporate Travel Management (brand value AU$252 million).

TikTok named world’s fastest growing, up 215%

Looking beyond Australia, TikTok has tripled in brand value over the past year to be named the world’s fastest growing brand.  With an astounding 215% growth, the entertainment app’s brand value has increased from US$18.7 billion in 2021 to US$59.0 billion this year. Claiming 18th spot among the world’s top 500 most valuable brands, it is the highest new entrant to the Brand Finance Global 500 2022 ranking.

Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 500 most valuable and strongest brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Global 500 ranking – now in its 16th year.

With COVID-19 restrictions still in effect across the globe throughout 2021, digital entertainment, social media, and streaming services saw continued growth, and TikTok’s rise is testament to how media consumption is changing. With its offering of easily digestible and entertaining content, the app’s popularity spread across the globe, however, it also acted as a creative outlet and provided a way for people to connect during lockdown.   

At the same time, strategic partnerships, such as its sponsorship of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, exposed TikTok to demographics outside of its original Gen Z base. It crossed the one billion user mark in 2021 and became the most downloaded app across Android’s Google Play store and Apple’s App Store.

David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“Media consumption has increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but – what is more – the way we consume it has irrevocably changed. In order to compete in this evolving marketplace, media organisations have invested heavily in their brands – from content acquisition through to user experience. TikTok’s meteoric growth is the proof in the pudding – the brand has gone from relative obscurity to internationally renowned in just a few years and shows no signs of slowing down.”

Apple holds on to top spot with record valuation

Apple has retained the title of the world’s most valuable brand following a 35% increase to US$355.1 billion – the highest brand value ever recorded in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking.

Apple had a stellar 2021, highlighted by its achievement at the start of 2022 – being the first company to reach a US$3 trillion market valuation. The tech giant’s success historically lied in honing its core brand positioning, but its more recent growth can be attributed to the company’s recognition that its brand can be applied effectively to a much broader range of services.

The iPhone still accounts for around half of the brand’s sales. However, this year saw Apple give more attention to its other suite of products with a new generation of iPads, an overhaul to the iMac, and introduction of AirTags. Its range of services, from Apple Pay to Apple TV, has also gone from strength to strength and become of increasing importance to the brand’s success.

Additionally, Apple knows the importance of being in tune with its customers for maintaining brand equity. Privacy and the environment are salient topics, and Apple bolstered its credentials on both fronts. This is evidenced by a greater transparency of the App Store’s privacy policy, reinforcing the trust customers have in the brand, and the announcement that more of Apple’s manufacturing partners will be moving to 100% renewable energy, as the company aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“Apple commands an amazing level of brand loyalty, largely thanks to its reputation for quality and innovation. Decades of hard work put into perfecting the brand have seen Apple become a cultural phenomenon, which allows it to not only compete, but thrive in a huge number of markets. With rumours abounding of its foray into electric vehicles and virtual reality, it seems it is ready for a new leap.”

Amazon and Google also saw good levels of growth, both keeping their spots in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking behind Apple in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Amazon joined Apple in crossing the US$300 billion brand value mark with a 38% increase to US$350.3 billion, navigating global supply chain issues and a labour shortage in the process.

Google saw a similar brand value growth of 38% to US$263.4 billion. The brand relies on advertising for the vast majority of its revenue, and was hurt at the start of the pandemic as advertising spend dropped due to uncertainty. However, as the world adjusted to the new normal, and with people spending more and more time online, advertising budgets opened back up and Google’s business rebounded, resulting in a healthy uplift in brand value.

WeChat retains world’s strongest brand title

WeChat remains the world’s strongest brand, retaining the title for the second consecutive year, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 93.3 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA+ rating.

WeChat plays an integral part in day-to-day life in China, with its all-encompassing set of services allowing customers to message, video call, order food, and shop. It also played an integral part in the country’s fight against COVID-19, with more than 700 million people using its services to book vaccinations and tests. The app’s entrenchment in people’s lives helps it achieve strong scores in reputation and consideration among Chinese consumers, according to Brand Finance’s research.

In line with the trend seen in the brand value ranking, four out of the top 5 strongest brands now come from the media sector, compared to only two before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining WeChat at the top of the ranking is Google, climbing from 39th to 3rd with an impressive BSI score of 93.3, followed closely by its Alphabet stablemate YouTube, which rose from 27th to 4th with a BSI score of 93.2. South Korean brand Naver rounds off the media brands in the top 5, jumping a remarkable 99 places to 5th with a BSI score 92.5.

View the full Brand Finance Global 500 2022 report here

Note to Editors

Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 500 brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Global 500 ranking, while Australia’s top 100 brands are included in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 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.

The full ranking, additional insights, charts, more information about the methodology, and definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking.

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.

Disclaimer

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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