· KBC Bank is Belgium’s most valuable brand, worth €3.5 billion
· Stella Artois is the most valuable beer brand, valued at €833 million
· Proximus is the most successful brand this year, with year-on-year brand value growth of 20% and brand rating upgraded to AA+
Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance analyses thousands of the world’s top brands. They are evaluated and ranked to determine which are the most powerful and the most valuable. For the first time, Brand Finance has created a league table of Belgium’s most valuable brands, the Brand Finance Belgium 10.
KBC bank, ranked number 1 in the table, has an overall brand value of €3.5 billion. The extensive presence of KBC in foreign markets is one major factor that contributes to its success. Sources within KBC have identified that convenience, security and a quality user experience are major priorities. Digital technology is becoming essential to remain competitive; recently-emerged challenger banks have based their success on seamless digital banking services. KBC has invested over €100 million in a multi-year plan to improve its digital channel service which is already having a positive effect on brand value, which has increased 13% on last year to and in order to counteract the threat of these competitors, KBC has recognised the need to €3.5 billion.
Stella Artois is the only beer brand to make the list. Its overall brand value stands at €833 million. Stella has become known to many in Britain as ‘wife beater’, due to a perceived link with hooliganism and domestic violence and ABInBev is working hard to shake off these negative associations. The campaign, ‘Give Beautifully’, was launched prior to the Christmas of 2015, to promote responsible drinking, while the recent ‘Be Legacy’ campaign encourages consumers to reflect on their reputation and the legacy they will leave. This campaign also addresses the growing challenge from craft beers which have progressively eroded the market share of many larger beer brands. Craft beers and smaller producers lean heavily on heritage and story-telling in their marketing communications. By exploring the story of Sebastian Artois, the ‘Be Legacy’ does the same, appealing to the more complex motivations of today’s younger beer drinkers.
Proximus, Belgium’s largest telecommunications brand, experienced the most rapid rate of growth (20%) to exceed €2 billion. The domestic services unit, previously operating under the Belgacom brand, was subsumed into and rebranded as Proximus. The main aim of the restructure was to achieve both operational and marketing communications efficiencies and is part of an ‘ambitious plan’ (according to the firm) to restore growth. This change came into effect at the end of 2014 and the 20% growth Proximus saw this year is an indication that the restructuring is on track to successfully meet its aim.