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Toyota continues to “Go Places” as Japan’s most valuable brand

27 May 2019
This article is more than 4 years old.
  • Toyota leads the charge, brand value rising an impressive 18% to ¥5.8 trillion
  • Uniqlo ranked fastest growing, up 46% with brand value ¥1.3 trillion
  • MS&AD insurance brand shows promise, up 21% since last year to ¥616 billion
  • Shiseido eyes Chinese expansion, brand value rising a solid 23% in past year
  • Japan Airlines (JAL) fly high as the nation’s strongest brand, recording a high Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.5 out of 100
  • Last year’s Japan’s strongest brand, 7-Eleven looks to India for growth

Retaining leadership position as Japan’s most valuable brand, Toyota’s brand value has grown by 18% over the past year to ¥5.8 trillion, according to the latest study by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy. Extended to cover 100 entries for the first time, the Brand Finance Japan 100 2019 report on the nation’s most valuable brands is being launched today at Tokyo Midtown to kick off the annual Advertising Week Asia.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“Toyota has once again proved it is ahead of all Japanese brands as it defends the coveted title of Japan’s number one brand. Toyota’s commitment to spreading hybrid technology makes it a force to be reckoned with and it is these pioneering and innovative efforts which have made the brand so truly successful”.

In second place, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, or NTT Group (brand value ¥4.6 trillion), defended the title of Japan’s second most valuable brand, with its telecoms offering also retaining high status amongst the world’s top 10 most valuable telecoms brands this year. The NTT Group is formulating a broad restructuring program with its extensive international network of brands and is set to formally unveil the new branding, strategy and resources behind the combined company in the coming months. NTT is also said to be eyeing up London as a base for its new international headquarters.

Uniqlo inches up
Racing its way up the rankings is popular apparel brand Uniqlo which has grown 46% in brand value to ¥1.3 trillion, in 12th place, to take the title of Japan’s fastest-growing brand this year. Originally founded in Yamaguchi in 1949 as a textile manufacturer but now renowned across the world, Uniqlo has almost 2000 stores in operation worldwide and is much loved for its simple yet universal clothing design with essentials for women, men, kids and babies.

MS&AD makes its mark
Tokyo-based insurance brand MS&AD has seen impressive growth of 21% since last year with a brand value of ¥616 billion. Its stellar performance has also meant the brand has cemented its place in the top 20 of the world’s most valuable insurance brands. Formed by the 2010 merger of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, Aioi Insurance Co. and Nissay Dowa General Insurance Co, MS&AD is Japan’s largest non-life insurer. The brand has also been making tactical investments in disruptive technologies from its cyber insurance arm MS&AD Ventures.

Shiseido eyes up China
Cosmetics giant Shiseido has clocked up a solid 23% rise in brand value since last year to ¥583 billion. Shiseido has committed itself to its strategy of global expansion and product innovation, recording a healthy profit growth. The brand’s foothold in the Chinese market is only getting stronger through clever product adaptation and localised marketing. Recent plans announced by CEO Masahiko Uotani to strengthen the EMEA and American arms of the business will no doubt have a positive impact on its brand value in the coming year.

Japan Airlines (JAL) fly high
Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

The strongest brand in the country belongs to Japan Airlines (JAL) with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.5 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA rating. Japan Airlines have maintained a consistently high reputation amongst their domestic market, attracting high loyalty with Japanese travellers. The airline has also set its sights on further expansion across international markets as well as its much-anticipated launch of low-cost carrier Zipair Tokyo, set for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Jun Tanaka, Managing Director of Brand Finance Japan, commented:

“JAL has been flying the flag for Japan in the airline industry for decades and it is extremely satisfying to see them achieve the top score in our Brand Strength Index in Japan this year. The quality of their onboard products and services, grounded in “Tradition, Innovation, and the Spirit of Japan”, is widely recognised. Driving customer preference, “omotenashi” (Japanese-style hospitality) can be a vital force for JAL to prosper during and beyond the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

7-Eleven looks to India for growth
Last year’s holder of the nation’s strongest brand title, 7-Eleven has maintained strong performance. The retailer’s Brand Strength Index (BSI) score sits at an impressive 85.9 out of 100, with a corresponding AAA rating.

The Japanese-owned US-headquartered brand is now looking towards India for new store openings. With over 2500 convenience stores in Tokyo alone, the brand also has a presence across Thailand, China, Denmark, Australia and the UAE, through area license and master franchise agreements.


Note to Editors
Every year, Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 100 most valuable Japanese brands are included in the Brand Finance Japan 100 2019 report, unveiled today at Tokyo Midtown to kick off the annual Advertising Week Asia.

On Thursday, 30th May, David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, will deliver a presentation on the “Impact of Brand Strength and ISO 20671” as part of the Advertising Week Asia Global Keynote Series. Later that day, representatives of the nation’s most valuable and strongest brands will take part in an Awards Ceremony and VIP Dinner at the Tokyo American Club co-hosted by Advertising Week Asia. To register interest, please email [email protected].

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 Japan 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.

Brand Finance is a chartered accountancy firm regulated by ICAEW and also the first brand valuation consultancy to join the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).

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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