· Despite only having one brand featured in the study, Apple Inc. holds the top spot
· Nestlé Sa’s portfolio has the most number of brands, valued at US$66.6 billion,
· Volkswagen Ag is the fastest falling portfolio of brands, dropping 36% in value
· Toyota Motor Corp, the fifth fastest growing portfolio of brands, grows 30%
Every year, leading branded business valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test. They are evaluated to determine which are the most powerful and the most valuable by country, by industry and against all other brands worldwide. The companies with the highest total value of brands under management can be found in the Brand Finance Portfolio 100.
The total value of the table is US$3.2 trillion, half of which is from the 44 US companies which total US$1.68 trillion. 14 Chinese companies feature in the table, rendering it the country with the second highest number of portfolios. They make up US$347 billion of the total sum. Nine European Union countries make the table and are home to 29 brands, nine of which are UK-based – more than any other European country. The portfolio table lists the companies with the most brand value under their management. Some companies, like Apple, only include one highly valuable brand, while other companies, like Nestlé S.A., operate hundreds. Apple does operate more brands, however, due to their reporting, it is not possible to identify and value these sub-brands from their financial statements.
The fastest growing portfolio this year is Agricultural Bank of China, with a value of US$32.3 billion after enjoying 42% growth. China Construction Bank and ICBC make the top five, with values of US$35.4 billion and US$36.3 billion after rising 34% and 32%, respectively. China Construction Bank is in fact the world’s most powerful banking brand. Chinese banks are performing well on brand equity measures such as familiarity, consideration, recommendation and preference as a result of investing in their brands. It must be noted that none of the Chinese portfolios in the table dropped in value.
Unilever’s impactful innovations have boosted its performance. The launch of the new Axe range and the ‘Find Your Magic’ brand campaign appealed to a wider audience as it encouraged men to break free from assumptions about how they should behave and express themselves. Unilever grew 18% to a value of US$42.7 billion this year. Vodafone Group is the only other UK company to enjoy an increase in value this year, rising 2% to US$27.8 billion. It is no secret that smartphones are becoming increasingly prominent, and the growing proliferation of smartphones in both developed and emerging markets is the main driver behind a surge in data demand and revenue. Vodafone Group’s global presence positions it well to cater to the rising demand. Moreover, the oligopolistic nature of the industry coupled with Vodafone’s immense size gives the company a competitive edge amongst its peers.
With over 500 brands in its portfolio, Nestlé S.A. owns the largest number of brands in the table. It climbs up the ranks to seventh place after 14% growth to a value of US$66.6 billion. Accelerated growth in North America was largely due to the turnaround in frozen meals, whilst in Latin America, Nestlé cited instant coffee as the core reason for growth. Nestlé’s category dynamics and innovation, which can be seen in its range of bottled water, are also factors that contributed to its strong growth. Furthermore, an increase in health awareness in relation to carbonated drinks gave Nestlé the opportunity to promote its bottled water segment which other companies may have failed to embrace. Nestlé’s success is largely due to the range of product segments it provides, allowing it to more effectively overcome challenging global trends than its competitors.
Volkswagen Ag was the biggest faller in the table this year. Its portfolio value dropped 36% to US$42.2 billion. The latest emissions scandal negatively impacted Volkswagen. However, on a broader spectrum, the light vehicle industry – albeit growing at its slowest rate in the last decade, is forecasted to grow nonetheless. This is somewhat due to the upward surges in China, India and across continental Western Europe which compensate for reductions in Brazil, the US and the UK. Toyota Motor Corp, ranked 10th this year, conforms to the forecasted industry trend, enjoying a 30% increase in portfolio value to US$55.3 billion this year.
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.
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 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 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.