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The Netherlands’ Most Valuable Brands Revealed

22 May 2017
This article is more than 6 years old.

· Shell remains unchallenged at the top, rising 12% to a brand value of ‎€32.7 billion

· Improving revenues and diverse sponsorships see Heineken’s brand value grow 17%

· Ziggo is the fastest-growing brand, up 77% year on year

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. A brand’s strength is assessed (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, preference, sustainability and margins) to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand. This is projected into perpetuity and discounted to determine the brand’s value. The 50 most valuable Dutch brands are included in the Brand Finance Netherlands 50 league table.

Shell is the Netherlands’ most valuable brand with a value of ‎€32.7 billion, following an increase of 12% year on year. It remains unchallenged among Dutch brands since the inception of the ranking in 2011.

Oil prices saw a fairly steady increase across 2016 as supply became slightly more constrained, helping to improve revenues. After a drop at the beginning of the year, Brent Crude nearly doubled in value from early January to the end of December. Shell’s asset disposal program following the completion of its merger with BG has helped to consolidate and strengthen the brand, which has been upgraded from AA+ to AAA- thanks to a Brand Strength Index score of 82. Shell’s longstanding partnership with Ferrari continues to deliver returns, with a demonstrable price premium attributable to the association with the world’s most powerful auto brand. Shell also invests heavily in campaigns that position it as an innovative provider of the clean energy solutions of the future. As part of its ‘Make the Future’ initiative, Shell enlisted the help of six popstars from around the world for its ‘Best Day of My Life’ video, which became one of the most viral ads of 2016.

Placing 6th, Heineken recorded the largest growth among the top ten, rising 17% to a brand value of €4.7 billion. Sponsorship continues to be a primary brand-building tool for Heineken, though its mix of partnerships is shifting slightly. Despite a longstanding relationship with the UEFA Champions League, it is slowly shifting its focus away from football which it sees as ‘totally overcrowded’ with competitors’ brands making differentiation difficult. Heineken is instead developing its involvement with F1 and has renewed its association with rugby by announcing that it will be the headline sponsor of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Heineken is also securing its brand’s standing by keeping up with recent market trends. It has just launched ‘Heineken 0.0’, an alcohol-free beer, in response to a reduction of alcohol consumption as increasing numbers of consumers go teetotal or lower their intake over concerns about health, fitness, and social impact. As well as being lower in calories and alcohol-free, Heineken claims that the new product closely replicates the taste of true lager. Few alcohol-free beers have been successful in the past, therefore, if consumers are convinced, it would be a major success for Heineken from both brand and financial point of view.

Unilever is 7th with a brand value of ‎€3.8 billion, down 4% from 2016. It is a major employer, well-known for its business ethics and focus on sustainability. So when KraftHeinz launched a bid for the company, there was deep concern amongst a broad range of stakeholders both in Britain and the Netherlands. In the event, Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman rebuffed the US$143 billion deal, which was seen to significantly undervalue the company.

Marc Cloosterman, Managing Director, Brand Finance Netherlands, commented: “This situation illustrates one of the fundamental reasons to value brands. Since internally generated goodwill (which includes brands) is not listed in company accounts, it is often overlooked or underestimated. Unilever has one of the world’s most valuable brand portfolios, estimated by Brand Finance at €48.2 billion, more than double the value of KraftHeinz. Bringing this to the fore will be key to defending any future bids or ensuring that shareholders receive fair value.”

With a change of 77% in value year to year and rising to 17th place, Ziggo is the fastest growing Dutch brand. Its rapid growth has been the result both of the expansion of the application of the brand and improved service offerings. A number of own-branded sport channels have been introduced, adding more content, while last year’s merger between Ziggo and Vodafone’s operations in the Netherlands opens up further new opportunities. The joint venture, VodafoneZiggo, will continue to operate both brands and provides customers with a more integrated range of telecommunications services, combining Ziggo’s cable with Vodafone’s mobile network. Ziggo now has a quad-play service to challenge the dominance of KPN.


Note to Editors

For more definitions of key terms, methodology and more stories, please consult the Brand Finance Netherlands 50 report document.

Brand values are reported in USD. For conversions into EUR, please consult the hover over the ‘i’ button on the web version of the table and select.


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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