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Swedish Banking Brands Hold Firm, IKEA Retains the Crown

08 August 2018
This article is more than 5 years old.

· IKEA defends the title of Sweden’s most valuable brand with SEK 197.1 billion value

· Swedish banking brands feature prominently in the Brand Finance Sweden 50 2018 ranking with 4 banks among the country’s top 10 most valuable

· New entrant Evolution Gaming is the fastest-growing brand in Sweden, up 82% to SEK1.5 billion

· H&M remains Sweden’s strongest brand with a high AAA rating

View the full Brand Finance Sweden 50 2018 report here

The top 10 most valuable Swedish brands each retained their rankings over the last year, with well-loved home furniture brand IKEA remaining on top, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy.

IKEA’s brand value dropped 5% over the last year to SEK197.1 billion, as the brand faces many of the same issues as other conventional retailers, especially increasing global competition from online-only sellers and digital home-improvement offerings. In a bid to keep up with technological advancements in the retail space, the brand has also been exploring virtual reality as a means for shoppers to trial potential new kitchen or bedroom layouts online.

The strength of IKEA’s brand is in its quintessentially Swedish reputation for a variety of reliable home-assembly flatpack furniture. Whilst it is popular around the world with over 300 stores globally, the brand is still expanding rapidly, having this year opened its first Indian store with plans for 25 in total, making India the third biggest market for IKEA after Germany and the United States.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“IKEA remains Sweden’s most valuable brand because it is recognised by shoppers as a good quality, convenient, and reasonably priced product. IKEA’s brand strength will be particularly important as the rising demand for online shopping continues to pick up. The brand will need to find creative ways of retaining their customer base whilst also attracting millennials. Evidenced by the success of continued expansion in emerging markets, IKEA still holds substantial growth potential as a brand.”

Bank brands hold firm
Banking brands maintain their prominence in the Brand Finance Sweden 50 2018 league table, with Nordea, Swedbank, Svenska Handelsbanken, and SEB all featuring in the top 10. Unlike many other big Swedish brands, the banks held their ground and all recorded brand value growth.

Nordea (brand value up 7% to SEK 51.4 billion), remained the third-most valuable Swedish brand, a testament to its revolutionary forays into the robotics and automated workplace world alongside its revered reputation with customers outside of Sweden. Swedbank (brand value up 7% to SEK 26.7 billion), Svenska Handelsbanken (brand value up 3% to SEK 25.6 billion), and SEB (brand value up 6% to SEK 22.6 billion) each retained their respective rankings.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“These are interesting times for the Swedish banking sector as brands adapt to changing customer behaviours and keep on top of rapidly evolving technologies. It is excellent to see Sweden’s top four banks all seizing the digital revolution, whether that means hiring technology specialists and computer scientists to their back offices or exploring initiatives such as automated mortgage applications.”

Other financial services brands from further down the league table also performed well this year, with Intrum growing by a remarkable 74% year on year to SEK2.3 billion and jumping from 42nd to 34th place.

New entrant Evolution Gaming is fastest-growing Swedish brand
Indicating the growing global interest in the online gambling space, Evolution Gaming is a new entrant to the Brand Finance Sweden 50 league table this year at ranked 40th. The e-casino giant’s brand value went up by 82% to SEK1.5 billion, earning it the title of Sweden’s fastest-growing brand of 2018. Well-regarded for its performance not just in Sweden’s online gaming market but also for its pre-eminence across North America, the brand is poised for further growth across the United States as it inks new agreements with New Jersey’s regulated iGaming market through partnerships with Resorts Casino Hotel, Ocean Resort Casino, and 888.

Other new entrants to this year’s Brand Finance Sweden 50 2018 league table include hygiene and health products brand Essity (ranked 20th, brand value SEK 10.9 billion) and window and door supplier Inwido (ranked 50th, brand value just under SEK 1.0 billion).

H&M is Sweden’s strongest brand
Aside from measuring the overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to these criteria, high-street apparel retailer H&M is Sweden’s strongest brand this year with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 85.7 and a corresponding brand rating of AAA. While the brand faces significant challenges from online fashion retailers, it continues to fiercely fight for its slice of market share against other fast-fashion powerhouses such as Zara and Forever 21. H&M has over 4,700 stores worldwide and employs over 170,000 people, with plans afoot to open standalone H&M Home stores, in a similar vein to Zara Home.

View the full list of Sweden’s 50 most valuable brands here


Note to Editors

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 50 most valuable brands in Sweden are included in the Brand Finance Sweden 50 2018 league table.

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 assessed through a balanced scorecard of factors (such as marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance) and used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand.

Additional insights, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Sweden 50 2018 report.

Brand Finance helped craft the internationally recognized standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668, and the recently approved standard on Brand Evaluation – ISO 20671.

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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