The value of the BrandZ™ Top 30 Most Valuable Dutch Brands is concentrated at the top of the ranking, with the number one brand, Shell, accounting for more than one fifth of the brand value of the entire Top 30. The top three brands in the Dutch ranking – Shell, Heineken, and Booking.com – account for nearly half of the total brand value of the Top 30.
One category stands out as capturing an especially significant share of the Netherlands’ brand value. Tech and online services brands – Philips, Booking.com, and Thuisbezorgd.nl – account for a quarter of the overall value Dutch Top 30, although they are by no means a homogenous group. Indeed, they find their power in humanity and specificity, with Philips honing its focus on health and wellness technology, while Booking.com and Thuisbezorgd.nl focus on how technology can improve the vital human rituals of dining and travel.
Beer, with six brands represented in the Top 30, and banking, with five, have also established themselves as vital players in the Dutch brand landscape. And again, within the categories there is a diversity of identity and approach – there is no one way to be a bank, or a brewer, (or, for that matter, a brand) in the Netherlands. In all, brands from 13 product and service categories make the inaugural Dutch Top 30 (11 if you unite Philips, Booking.com, and Thuisbezorgd.nl under the wider umbrella of “tech and online services”). The list presents a snapshot of what drives the Dutch economy and what Dutch consumers are passionate about, from breaking bread with family and enjoying a beer with friends, to building the future of the energy, health, and travel industries.
Many of these brands have been part of Dutch life for more than 150 years – or, in the case of Brand beer, for more than 600 years! – while the youngest, Thuisbezorgd.nl, is less than 20 years old. Age is neither a strong help nor a hindrance when it comes to building a strong brand. The Top 5 in the ranking, for instance, have launch dates ranging from 1864 to 1996.
The number one brand in the Netherlands is worth 196 times the number 30 brand. Globally, the number one brand is worth nine times the number 30 brand.
A good comparison to the Netherlands’ distribution of brand value is Spain, which has a similar total value for its Top 30, and for which value is similarly concentrated at the very top.
Categories and brands
As mentioned, technology, gas, banking, and beer brands were especially well represented in the Dutch Top 30. The next most valuable category was communications and telecom providers, as represented by KPN (6th), Ziggo (9th), and Telfort (28th). Beyond them, a number of brands that predominantly operate in the physical world performed well in the Dutch ranking, despite the rapid growth of e-commerce. These included the grocery chains Spar (10th), Albert Heijn (14th), and Jumbo (18th), as well as the home retailers Action (17th) and HEMA (22nd).
In addition to beer labels, the beverage world was represented by the sister coffee brands Senseo (16th) and Douwe Egberts (19th); food and cooking brands, meanwhile, made an appearance in the form of Honig (27th). In the financial services realm, bank brands were joined by three insurance brands, Nationale Nederlanden (13th), Aegon (15th), and a.s.r. (23rd).
Unlike many other countries, the Netherlands did not place any apparel or luxury goods brands in its top brand rankings. Beloved Dutch brand KLM (20th), is the sole airline on the list, as the proliferation of budget airlines found in other countries hasn’t spread to the Netherlands to the same degree. Finally, although the Netherlands has a number of strong e-commerce brands and tech startups, the search, storage, and social media spaces are dominated by global behemoths like WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Ways to win
Globally, we know that brands perceived as high on innovation grow their brand value seven times faster than other brands. One way for brands to unlock new innovation is to look for partnerships outside of their categories – a strategy that brands in the Dutch Top 30 know well.
For instance, in recent years ABN AMRO has partnered with Spar to bring its Tikkie mobile payments app to the stores that Spar operates on university campuses. It’s a natural collaboration because students make up some of Tikkie’s most enthusiastic users; the partnership allows these users users to make cashless, one-tap payments for a variety of essential goods at Spar’s university stores.
Another notable cross-category partnership has even made its way onto the Dutch brand rankings. Although it is now known as a coffee brand in its own right, Senseo began as a collaboration between Douwe Egberts and Philips to develop a new kind of single-service coffee brewer. The resulting pad-based coffee maker soon found its way into households across the Netherlands and Europe – a platform of innovation upon which Senseo has