Global vision drives rising value
The most valuable brands in the UK are consistent with the top of the inaugural ranking for this market, released a year ago. Vodafone again tops the table, with a brand value 6 percent higher, at US$28,860 million. HSBC, Shell and BT all follow, and Sky has this year overtaken BP to claim the final place in the Top 5. Rounding out the Top 10 this year are Tesco, Lipton and Barclays, and this year Dove takes 10th place, bumping out O2.
Many of the strongest UK brands have become a household name worldwide, and some of the leading names in the ranking generate as much as 99 percent of their revenue from overseas markets.
Among the brands generating most of their revenue from markets outside the UK are: Johnnie Walker, Castrol, Lipton, Dove, Standard Chartered, Kit-Kat and Vodafone – representing a broad range of categories.
What these brands gain from being so strong outside the UK is a resilience to the ups and downs of consumer demand at home – something increasing numbers of UK brands will be looking for, particularly in a post-Brexit world. The combined brand value of the BrandZ Top 75 UK Brands is around 10 percent of UK GDP.
The benefit of exposure to a greater number of international consumers is evident in the scale of the most overseas-driven UK brands, and in their growth patterns.
The 10 brands with the greatest proportion of revenue from international markets are, on average, worth double that of the other 65 ($6.1 billion versus $3.2 billion).
In the past year, the Top 10 international players have grown their brand value by 12 percent, far outpacing the average rise among all brands in the BrandZ ranking, with double their rate of growth.
These overseas-focused brands score better than the average of the other brands in the ranking on all five aspects of brand health: purpose, innovation, communications, experience and brand love. They are seen as being especially innovative, and good at shaking up their category.
On the up
The fastest-growing brands in the ranking come from further down the list, and – encouragingly – from a wide range of categories. This shows that while external factors can have a bearing on a brand’s ability to grow, it is still possible to significantly outperform sector averages, and to buck trends by growing value when the rest of a sector declines.
Prudential, for example, has grown the fastest of any brand in the ranking, and has eclipsed the growth achieve by other insurance brands. Banks have had mixed fortunes, with some rising at single-digit percentage rates and others seeing brand value shrink in the past year, but NatWest has achieved 17 percent growth, making it the fifth-fastest riser in the Top 75.
What these fast-growing brands have in common is stronger Brand Power – a measure of a brand’s ability to influence consumer propensity to buy (an average score of 175, versus 145 for other brands in the Top 75). They achieve this by beating other brands on three key ingredients of Brand Power: they are more meaningful, more different and more salient (well known).
Fast-rising brands in this year’s ranking are also more innovative; they are especially good at shaking things up and are frequently seen as “leading the way”. And they provide a great consumer experience (with an average score on experience of 107, compared to 104 for the other 65 brands in the ranking). Communications is another area where the quickest-growing 10 brands beat the average, with an average score of 114 on communications, compared to 108 for other brands in the ranking.
Slice of life
The categories comprising the UK Top 75 represent a cross section of British business, and reflect the brands consumers encounter in their daily lives, both in the physical world and online.
There are now 24 categories in the ranking, some represented by a single brand (Dyson for home appliances and British Airways flying the flag for airlines, for instance), and others include as many as eight brands (this applies to both banks and telecom providers).
The category that has grown in value the fastest in the past year is gambling (up 180 percent), boosted by the arrival of the National Lottery, Bet365, Coral and Ladbrokes. Apparel is up 70 percent this year, thanks to strong growth from Asos and Next, and boosted by the entrance into the ranking of Reebok, Ted Baker and Superdry.
Alcohol was another big riser, with craft beer BrewDog boosting the sector’s brand value. It was a mixed picture for the insurance category, with ups and downs for individual brands delivering 51 percent growth in the sector overall as the number of insurance brands featured rose from three to six. Soft drinks were up 18 percent (thanks to growth for Lipton and the arrival of Innocent in the Top 75), and Dulux alone carried the paint category to 18 percent growth in brand value.