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Brand Profiles


Parent Company: Royal Dutch Shell PLC

Brand value: US $20,656 million

Headquarter city: The Hague

Industry: Oil & Gas

Year formed: 1907                

From humble beginnings as a family-run shop selling exotic seashells, Royal Dutch Shell has        become the world’s largest fuels retailer – operating filling stations that serve some 30 million [a]people daily. In the late 1800s, the sons of London shopkeeper Marcus Samuel launched a fleet of steamers to carry oil through the Suez Canal; they called this venture Shell Transport and Trading Company. At the same, the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company was developing an oil field in Sumatra, Indonesia. The two companies joined in 1907 to become the Royal Dutch Shell Group, which was represented from the start by a scallop-shell logo. Though best known for its convenience-focused refueling stations, Shell’s vast reach also encompasses marine, aviation, chemical, gas, and low-carbon fuel operations. The company employs some 86,000 people across more than 70 countries. The company is publicly preparing for a transition to lower-carbon energy, and recently published a scenario detailing how society could meet the requirements of the Paris climate change agreement by 2070. Recent Shell communications have focused on its “Make The Future” campaign highlighting energy innovation, as supported by figures like Pele and DJ Steve Aoki; sponsorships encompass a wide range of motorsport activity. Royal Dutch Shell is listed on the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam, and the New York Stock Exchange.

2. Heineken

COMPANY: Heineken N.V.

BRAND VALUE: US $11,883 Million USD




From a single brewery in Amsterdam 150 years ago, Heineken has grown into the world’s most international brewer. Heineken is the number one brewer in Europe and the number two brewer in the world. They have over 80,000 employees and operate breweries, cider plants, and other production facilities in more than 70 countries. In the last decade, Heineken has significantly increased its exposure to emerging markets like China. Led by the Heineken brand, the Group now has a portfolio of more than 300 international, regional, local, and specialty beverages. Their premium beer and cider brands include Birra Moretti, Red Stripe and Tiger beers. Heineken’s instantly recognizable star logo dates back to 1884 and was adapted from the medieval sign for beer; the brand’s green colorway also helps the brand stand out in stores and restaurants. In recognition of the Heineken brand’s vast global reach – and of the difficulty in translating a single message across many cultures -– Heineken has dropped the use of a tagline in its most recent advertisements, focusing instead on visual expressions of its core brand themes of sociality, energy, and fun. These themes are also represented in Heineken’s sponsorships of the UEFA Champions League, Formula 1, and the James Bond franchise.

3.  Booking.com

Parent Company: Booking Holdings Inc. (previously The Priceline Group)

Brand value: US $11,866 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Travel Agency

Year formed: Bookings.nl was founded in 1996 (in 2005 The Priceline Group bought the company and changed the name of the website into Booking.com)

Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Today, it’s more than just a hotel site: with a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, you can book any kind of accommodation, including apartments, family-run B&Bs, luxury resorts, tree houses, and igloos. In other words, and as their slogan puts it: “Booking.com: hotels, homes and everything in between.”  The company employs more than 17,000 employees across 198 offices in 70 countries worldwide; each day, more than 1,550,000 room nights are reserved on the platform, all with a price-match guarantee. The company’s marketing focus has long been focused on driving performance (especially through search engine advertising, online displays, and partnerships). Recently, however, the brand has started doing more extensive TV and video advertising in the Netherlands and beyond — most notably its authentic, emotional One Mission spot, which was shot by booking.com’s own employees on their trips around the world. Booking.com’s parent company, Booking Holdings Inc. (formerly The Priceline Group Inc.) is listed on Nasdaq.

4. ING

Parent Company: ING Groep N.V.

Brand value:  US $10,727 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Banks

Year formed: 1881

ING is a Dutch banking group – the Netherlands’ largest – that has long been heralded for its agile embrace of technology. ING is present in over 40 countries and offers banking services to more than 37 million retail and wholesale banking customers worldwide. ING is a brand with a clear purpose: “Empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business.” ING has embraced digital disruption by focusing on user experience across all channels, including an early push toward online banking at home and abroad. Anchoring these changes is the brand’s orange lion logo, which underlines ING’s strong Dutch roots in the country’s postal savings system. ING employs more than 13,000 Dutch workers, and more than 3 million Dutch people use ING’s mobile app. The Netherlands is also the incubator for a new type of ING branch that’s modeled on a home, where people can get personal banking advice, have a coffee, and hold community meetings. ING sponsors the Rijksmuseum, the Royal Dutch Football Federation, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In the first half of 2018 ING announced its plans to return to distributing online insurance, and touted its innovations in the blockchain space; the company also paid government settlements related to its anti-money-laundering protections. ING’s stock is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange.

5. Philips

Parent Company: Koninklijke Philips N.V.

Brand value: US $10,714 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Technology

Year formed: 1891

Koninklijke (Royal) Philips N.V. is a Dutch multinational technology company headquartered in Amsterdam. Philips was founded in Eindhoven in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik. Their plan? To bring cost-effective light bulbs to the masses. A string of iconic Philips inventions followed in the coming decades, including cassette tapes, boomboxes, electric razors, home video recorders, televisions, and more. As Philips grew, it segmented into three columns: Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Philips Healthcare, and Philips Lighting. For many Dutch, Philips’s success is proof that the Netherlands can compete in the global technology realm. In recent years, the company has sharpened its focus on health technology, acquiring firms in the medical imaging, monitoring, and treatment spheres, and spinning off its lighting business.  Philips has over 73,000 employees and recorded €17.8 billion in revenue in 2017. Just as significantly, Philips estimated that its products, many of them green, touched 2.2 billion people’s lives last year. The company’s “Innovation and You” slogan signals that even amidst a strategic refocusing, Philips will always be dedicated to harnessing innovation to improve people’s time on the planet. In the Netherlands, Philips’ sponsorships include the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Pride, and PSV Eindhoven. Shares of Philips are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange.

6. KPN

Parent Company:  Koninklijke KPN N.V.

Brand value: US $4,121 million

Headquarter city: Rotterdam

Industry: Telecom Providers

Year formed: 1989 (the current brand)

KPN as a brand was founded in 1989, but its legacy traces back to 1881 and the Netherlands’ first government-run telegraph service, which was soon combined with postal and telephone services to create a state-run communications powerhouse. By the 2000s KPN had privatized and spun off its postal business, leaving a core focus on fixed and mobile telecom networks as well as data, home internet, and television services. The client base of KPN is enormous, with 5.5 million Dutch consumers using at least one KPN product. As the industry changed and voice became just one part of KPN’s telecom offerings, the company communicated that its true goal was to live “at the heart of society” by connecting the whole country in myriad ways. As such, technological innovation has once again become a prominent part of the brand’s identity and communications – with ads often showing the emotional, societal, and sustainability benefits of greater connectivity. KPN sponsors the Dutch skating team, the Eredivisie football league, and the Rijksmuseum. Recently, the company’s innovation lab has also gained much media attention by testing out an autonomous drone taxi in Amsterdam.

7. Rabobank

Parent Company: Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.

Brand value: US $4,099 million

Headquarter city: Utrecht

Industry: Banks

Year formed: 1972

Rabobank is an international financial cooperative with deep roots in The Netherlands. The bank’s history goes back to the late 19th century, when small agricultural cooperative banks were founded by Dutch farmers and horticulturists around the country. Rabobank as we know it today was created in 2016 through the merger of 106 local cooperative Rabobanks and the central Rabobank Nederland. Nowadays, Rabobank is the Netherlands’ second-largest bank, serving more than 6.7 million retail and 800,000 business customers with a comprehensive range of financial products and services. True to its roots, Rabobank is also active internationally as a financial services provider in the Food & Agricultural and Sustainability sectors. Rabobank operates in 40 countries worldwide and services approximately 10 million customers. A series of rate-fixing and money-laundering scandals starting in 2013 damaged Rabobank’s corporate image, though trust in the bank’s retail operations has remained more resilient. Rabobank holds a spot on the ‘’The World Safest Banks 2017’’ list, and the bank was also a winner of the 2017 “Environmental Finance Green Bond Award.” It’s advertisements and CSR initiatives often focus on reducing hunger and food waste, and promoting a more circular economy. Rabobank’s sponsorships include the Lowlands festival, the Dutch Olympics team, and the Dutch national hockey leagues.


Parent Company: ABN AMRO Group N.V.

Brand value: US $3,394 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Banks

Year formed: 1765

Although parts of ABN AMRO date back to 1765, its ledger of mergers and acquisitions means that the bank encompasses many histories: banks for overseas Dutchmen, banks serving the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and the Netherlands’ first nonprofit savings bank are just some of the firms that have combined to make up modern ABN AMRO. Today, the bank is the Netherlands’ third largest: a modern, full-service institution with more than 19,000 employees and €390 billion in assets. True to its diverse background, ABN AMRO serves retail, private, and corporate banking clients, with a primary focus on the Netherlands and selective operations internationally. The core of ABN AMRO’S strategy is to be a “relationship-driven bank” that also stays on the technological cutting edge, especially in the area of mobile banking. ABN AMRO used to be one the biggest advertisers in the Netherlands, but in recent years media spend has increasingly focused on digital and radio. Many of its advertisements feature a character named Vincent and tout how sustainable investment efforts can lead to “Gains on all fronts,” and that “Finance the future.” Although briefly nationalized during the global financial crisis, ABN AMRO was re-listed on Euronext Amsterdam in 2015.

9. Ziggo

Parent Company: VodafoneZiggo Group Holding B.V.

Brand value: US $2,714 million

Headquarter city: Utrecht

Industry: Telecom Providers

Year formed: 2008

Ziggo has benefitted from - and often led - the trend of consolidation among Dutch entertainment service providers and telecom companies. Ziggo formed as the result of a merger between Multikabel, @Home Network, and Casema, and grew larger following a subsequent merger with UPC Nederland in 2015. In 2017, Ziggo completed a joint venture with Vodafone Nederland, further extending the brand’s reach. Nowadays, Ziggo has 9.7 million customers with nearly 4 million television, over 3 million internet, and 2.5 million fixed and mobile telephone subscribers. On the entertainment side, Ziggo is the biggest TV provider in the Netherlands with some 52% market share. It stands out from its competitors by holding the exclusive Dutch license to content like HBO series and Formula 1 Racing. (Ziggo and its competitor KPN have become so dominant, in fact, that some are wondering whether the Dutch government intervene to prevent a duopoly.) Besides advertising for its entertainment and voice bundles, Ziggo serves as the shirt sponsor of the football club Ajax, and also lends its name to the Ziggo Dome, a massive indoor arena that has hosted artists like Ariana Grande and Katy Perry. Ziggo is partly owned by Nasdaq-listed Liberty Global, and partly by London- and Nasdaq-listed Vodafone.

10. Spar

Parent Company: Spar International

Brand Value: US $1,911 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Retail

Year formed: 1932

SPAR is an international group of groceries and convenience stores offering a high quality, high value shopping experience — a focus on thrift that is echoed in its name, which recalls the Dutch word for “save.”  The first SPAR store opened in the Netherlands in 1932; today the brand counts more than 12,770 stores in 48 countries. In 2017, SPAR had €34.5 billion in global sales and served 13.5 million customers each day. While SPAR’s franchise model means that owners can tailor their store’s offerings based on their local context, the brand’s outposts are united by their green fir tree logo, a focus on price and quality, and a wide array of SPAR Own Brand Products. SPAR Netherlands in particular has been a fount of innovation for the brand, recently expanding its to-go offerings and convenience store formats, as well as offering checkout-less mobile payment through its SPAR University app. The brand’s Responsible Retailing initiative has led to more local sourcing as well as support for community wellness initiatives; Spar is also known for its sports sponsorships, most notably of European Athletics. Spar is partly owned by the Euronext Amsterdam-listed Sligro Food Group, and partly by privately-held Sperwer Holding B.V.

11. Amstel

Parent Company: Heineken NV

Brand value: US $1,888 million

Headquarter city: Zoeterwoude

Industry: Beer

Year formed: 1870

Amstel is an international beer brand that remains intimately tied to its Dutch heritage. Indeed, the brand’s name comes from the Amstel river, and its origins involve two friends coming together near the riverside to establish a brewery. Today Amstel is sold in over 100 countries worldwide and is especially known abroad for its light offerings. At home, the brand offers a full array of lager, pilsner, non-alcoholic, and radler varieties at an accessible price; it’s flagship pilsner is known for its golden, full taste. The brand enjoys a strong market position behind Heineken, and in fact Heineken N.V. Has owned Amstel since 1968. Amstel is well known for sponsoring the UEFA Europa league, the Amstel Goal bike race, and the Friends of Amstel Live concert. Amstel recently debuted a new bottle that underscores how the brand is “brewed out of friendship,” with brand communications reinforcing this theme. Amstel’s parent company Heineken N.V. trades on Euronext Amsterdam and in New York.

12. Takeaway.com

Parent Company: Thuisbezorgd.nl (Takeaway.com)

Brand value: US $1,046 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Online Food Delivery

Year formed: 2000

Takeaway is beloved in the Netherlands as a quirky national success story. It’s also, not incidentally, the leading online food delivery marketplace in continental Europe, connecting consumers and restaurants through its platform in 10 European countries, Vietnam, and Israel. Its beginnings are now the stuff of legend: Jitse Groen founded the site in 2000 when he was still a student, after discovering how difficult it was to order food online. Today, the company has 1,000 employees and processes upwards of 78 million orders annually; in the Netherlands alone the company processed 15.7 million orders in the first six months of 2018, up 21% from the year prior. The company protects its brand awareness with extensive advertising , often around the theme of “Time for Takeaway.com”; the message is that with Takeaway.com, food arrives “on time” so you can have a “great time.” These efforts have been bolstered by media interest in Groen’s rising fortunes following Takeaway.com’s Euronext Amsterdam IPO in 2016.

13. Nationale Nederlanden

Parent Company:NN Group N.V.

Brand value: US $995 million

Headquarter city: The Hague

Industry: Insurance

Year formed: 1845

With over 5 million private and business customers, Nationale-Nederlanden is one of the largest financial service providers in the Netherlands. It offers a wide range of financial services such as insurance, mortgages, pensions, savings, and investments. The brand’s parent company, NN Group, split from ING Group in 2013, and operates in 18 countries. Since the split, Nationale-Nederlanden’s communications have emphasized the individual focus of its services; its latest campaign slogan emphasizes that, “There is only one Dutch person like you.” The brand’s sponsorships focus on the individual sport of running, with support ranging from the establishment of a professional team in partnership with Nike down to helping amateur racers. In collaboration with Douwe Egberts, there is also a Nationale-Nederlanden Café in Rotterdam that offers workshops on themes ranging from retirement planning to barista skills. Shares of National Nederlanden’s parent company NN Group N.V. are listed in Amsterdam and New York.

14. Albert Heijn