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Saudi Aramco crowned Saudi’s Most Valuable Brand STC, SABIC, Al-Rajhi Bank Take Top Spots

01 April 2020
This article is more than 4 years old.
  • Saudi Aramco at top of table with brand value US$46.8 billion, new entrant since 2019 IPO
  • Banking brands dominate ranking, 12 Saudi Arabian banks feature this year
  • STC and SABIC see results from recent branding campaigns, ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively
  • Mobily breaks into top 10 for first time, brand value up 31% to US$1.1 billion
  • In new COVID-19 analysis, Brand Finance has measured levels of business impact from Coronavirus categorised by limited impact, moderate and worst hit
  • High impact industries under COVID-19: aviation, oil & gas, tourism & leisure, restaurants, retail

View the Brand Finance KSA 50 2020 report here

The world’s biggest companies are set to lose up to US$1tn in brand value as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, with the aviation sector being the most affected, according to the latest analysis by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy.

Brand Finance has assessed the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak based on the effect of the outbreak on enterprise value, as at 18 March 2020, compared to what it was on 1st January 2020. Based on this impact on enterprise value, Brand Finance estimated the likely impact on brand value for each sector. Each sector has been classified into 3 categories based on the severity of enterprise value loss observed for the sector in the period between 1st January 2020 and 18th March 2020.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

"The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on global markets is very real. Worldwide, brands across every sector are braced for the Coronavirus to massively affect their business activities, supply chain and revenues in a way that eclipses the 2003 SARS outbreak.

Now is the ideal moment for Saudi Arabia’s brands to remain ever present in their stakeholders’ minds, engage across digital channels and show resilience and adaptability in these unprecedented times.”

Banking brands dominate KSA 50
Brand Finance today released the KSA 50 report on Saudi Arabia’s top 50 most valuable and strongest brands. Among the top 50, there are 12 Saudi Arabian banks, symbolising the strength of the country’s banking brand presence. Al-Rajhi Bank (up 20% to US$3.5 billion) leads the pack, with NCB (up 5% to US$2.6 billion) and Riyad Bank (up 12% to US$1.1 billion) as the Kingdom’s third most valuable banking brand.

Riyad Bank’s new CEO Tariq Al-Sadhan is overseeing the brand’s 2020 transformation strategy and taking the bank into a digital future ahead of Vision 2030. The bank’s pioneering efforts in the digital banking space are to be commended, as it was the first bank in Saudi Arabia to launch contactless cards, activate an Apple Pay offering and roll out an innovative wristband payment system for wearable transactions.

Saudi Aramco top of table
Since its IPO last year, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco are a new entrant at the top of the table with a brand value of US$46.8 billion, claiming the title of the Middle East’s most valuable brand. Saudi Aramco is focused on leveraging its strength in upstream, while growing its downstream operations through acquisitions, both in Saudi Arabia and key global markets. In order to clinch the title of the world’s most valuable oil and gas brand from rival Shell, Saudi Aramco must now focus on developing international perceptions of the brand in order to open it up further for partnerships and investment.

STC and SABIC retain leading titles
Telecoms brand STC (up 13% to US$8.0 billion) is now Saudi Arabia’s second most valuable brand, with chemicals giant SABIC (up 9% to US$4.3 billion) in third rank. STC recently launched its new unified brand identity to boost its role as a leading digital enabler in the region. The brand is highly regarded for its My STC app which provides users with access to all services including ordering devices and SIM cards.

Saudi Arabia’s third most valuable brand SABIC launched its first-ever global brand advertising campaign in a strategic effort to raise the company’s awareness, understanding, and engagement with global influencers as a part of its 2025 ambitions. Its growth reflects the growing positive perception of SABIC and its purpose of delivering CHEMISTRY THAT MATTERS™ for its customers and other stakeholders.

Mobily breaks into top 10
Telecoms brand Mobily (up 31% to US$1.1 billion) has broken into the top 10 most valuable Saudi Arabian brands for the first time and is also the fastest growing brand among the top 10. STC’s unification of the brand across Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia through STC Pay and its OTT platform, “Jawwy TV” has seen a great impact in positioning the brand as a regional player. STC also recently became the region’s first to offer Instagram shopping to its customers. In a pioneering move which allows users to purchase everything from mobile subscriptions to the latest devices and accessories via social feeds, the brand has seen its online followership grow to over 500k on Instagram.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“The harsh reality is that many Saudi Arabian brands may not make their 2020 targets due to the challenges presented by the Coronavirus outbreak. This is why having a strong brand is now more crucial than ever, as it is this resilience which will truly help to weather the storm and bounce back from this crisis.”

Al-Rajhi is strongest brand in Saudi
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. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to these criteria, Al-Rajhi Bank is Saudi Arabia’s strongest brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 84.7 out of 100. The brand is the Kingdom’s biggest Islamic lender and has been boosting its mortgage lending as more affordable housing comes on the market, which has promoted a positive brand sentiment especially amongst first time buyers.

KSA brands to watch
In the KSA 50 report, there are a number of Saudi brands representing a variety of sectors which have been identified as “ones to watch”. Among the fastest growing brands are food brands Alyoum (up 61% to US$286m) and Afia (up 37% to US$164m), leisure brand Fitness Time (up 58% to US$172m) and logistics brand Aldrees (up 51% to US$199m).

View the Brand Finance KSA 50 2020 report here


Note to Editors

Every year, Brand Finance values 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands. 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.

Data compiled for the Brand Finance 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.

Brand Finance has assessed the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak based on the effect of the outbreak on Enterprise Value, as at 18/03/2020 compared to what it was on 1st January 2020. Based on this impact on Business Value, Brand Finance estimated the likely impact on Brand Value for each sector. Each sector has been classified into 3 categories based on the severity of Business Value loss observed for the sector in the period between 1st Jan 2020 and 18th March 2020.

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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