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Telstra Rings Up Fourth Consecutive Year as Australia’s Most Valuable Brand

22 January 2019
This article is more than 5 years old.

London - Sydney, 22/1/2019

  • Telstra remains Australia’s most valuable brand despite brand value dropping 7%
  • Retail brands enjoy strong growth in face of online competition with Woolworths’ brand value up 23%
  • Banks struggle to grow brand value in aftermath of government pressures; Colonial First State worst hit with brand value falling 28%
  • Qantas soars to become Australia’s strongest brand with a score of 86.6 out of 100 and a AAA rating

View the full report on Australia’s 100 most valuable and strongest brands here

Telstra remains Australia’s most valuable brand despite its brand value subsiding 7% to $14.7 billion, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Woolworths (brand value up 23% to $11.2 billion) and Coles (brand value up 31% to $11.0 billion) both jumped two places to 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The two Australian retail giants have grown their brand values strongly this year despite the threat of online competition from Amazon.

Telstra’s fall in brand value was primarily driven by a decrease in brand strength as the telco giant continues to face many challenger brands in its key service areas of mobile, internet and landline telecommunications. Despite this fall in brand strength, it remains Australia’s 5th strongest brand, and clearly continues as Australia’s dominant telecommunications carrier. On the other hand, Optus (brand value up 6% to $5.3 billion) increased its brand strength this year, overtaking Telstra to become the country’s strongest telecommunications brand, and Australia’s 4th strongest brand overall.

Elsewhere, mining giant BHP (brand value up 27% to $8.3 billion) continues to derive strong results from their major 2017 re-branding exercise, remaining Australia’s most valuable business-to-business brand. BHP’s corporate leadership has invested significant effort in charting out a forward-looking brand vision based around growth and security, despite the risk of global financial challenges.

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

“Telstra remains Australia’s most valuable brand, with its key customer segments delivering high quality and reliable operations right across its entire portfolio of telecommunications services. However, the brand continues to face domestic challenges from a variety of competitors in its core services, putting downward pressure on its overall brand value. Looking ahead, management will need to ensure that they are able to leverage Telstra's existing brand strength to ensure that the brand does not merely become a dumb pipe to carry smart services: this offers Telstra the opportunity to grow commercial revenue by extracting greater value from online supply chains.”

Retail brands enjoy strong growth in face of online competition
Near the top of the ranking, Woolworths and Coles both achieved steady brand value growth. Across the board, the brand value of other retailers also grew strongly, with Bunnings (up 33% to $2.0 billion), Westfield (up 30% to $2.0 billion), Kmart (up 35% to $1.5 billion) JB Hi-Fi (up 14% to $1.4 billion) and Harvey Norman (up 34% to $1.2 billion) all recording solid results. Despite significant fears a year ago, the arrival of Amazon into the broader Australian retail market has not yet harmed the value of Australian retail brands.

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

“Woolworth’s revival has continued, moving up two places to become Australia’s second most valuable brand. Strong customer metrics and improved brand investment have seen Woolworths remain ahead of Coles, which has also moved up two places to claim the third rank following an increase in brand value of 31%.

If current growth trends were to continue, Woolworths will again challenge Telstra for the most valuable Australian brand in coming years.”

Banks tarnished by government pressures
Commonwealth Bank (brand value marginally up to $10.6 billion) remains Australia’s most valuable banking brand, ahead of the other big banks, with ANZ (brand value down 13% to $9.1 billion), nab (brand value up 4% to $8.6 billion) and Westpac (brand value down 2% to $7.3 billion) enduring mixed years.

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

“Australian banks’ brand value and brand strength have suffered in the aftermath of the Financial Services Royal Commission. While the banks’ underlying financial performance is sound, the adverse impact on brand equity will require significant brand investment to mitigate against erosion of brand revenues over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Qantas soars to become Australia’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. Alongside revenue forecasts, the brand strength index (BSI) is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to these criteria, Qantas (brand value up 45% to $3.8 billion) improved its BSI to 86.6, achieving a brand rating upgrade from AAA- to AAA to become Australia’s strongest brand. Meanwhile, last year’s strongest brand, Commonwealth Bank, fell to seventh, with its brand rating shifting from AAA to AA+. This reflects the high-regard that Australians have for the Qantas brand as it continues to lead the Australian aviation industry, on both domestic and international routes.

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

“Qantas’ brand performance is quite exceptional given that enterprise value has decreased by 8%. This result highlights the importance of the iconic brand to the company as it deals with increasing competition on its domestic and international routes. Brands in the airline sector have been to the fore in Australian aviation with both Jetstar (28%) and Virgin Australia (16%) also recording strong increases in value.”


Note to Editors
Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 100 most valuable and strongest Australian brands are included in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2019 report.

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, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2019 report.

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

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.


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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