Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test, evaluating which are the most powerful and valuable, publishing the Brand Finance Top 100 Singaporean Brands.
The three local banks have been performing well for several years and again in 2020, we see no other contenders being able to challenge the top three spots and it’s also unlikely that DBS, with a brand value of US$ 8.4 billion, will be dethroned from the top of the Brand Finance Top 100 Most Valuable Singapore Brands table for a sometime. OCBC and UOB continues to be jostling each other against for the 2nd and 3rd position ranking, respectively.
OCBC has managed to climb back into second position this year with a brand value of US$ 4.8 billion, while UOB is not far behind with a brand value of US$ 4.7 billion.
The three banks have contributed 37% of the total brand value in Singapore, down marginally from 38% last year.
The focus on brand strength
The brand strength, measured by Brand Strength Index (BSI), shows that the average BSI of the Top 100 brands has reduced further again from 62.4/100 last year to 61.5/100 in 2020. Most brands, however, have remained stagnant in terms of brand strength and while they may be doing well locally, they have been losing out to some of the key competitors in the region as they lack competitiveness outside of the Singapore market.
Singtel replaces Changi Airport to become the strongest brand in 2020 and dominates the brand strength ranking with a score of 86 out of 100. Changi Airport has fallen following a small drop in score but still continues to retain its AAA brand strength rating as well as DBS, making them the only 3 brands with the AAA brand strength rating while OCBC and UOB dropped a level down from their AAA brand rating this year.
ComfortDelGro made its way into the top 10 last year for the first time and has maintained its 10th position ranking. Wilmar has recorded a huge drop in brand value and ranking, although it has still maintained its strong foothold in the top 10 position. Capitaland has perform well this year, jumping from 14th to 8th position. Singtel, Singapore Airlines and Capitaland are the only three brands in the top 10 that have recorded a brand value increase.
NTUC Income is a new entrant into the ranking in 11th place, with a brand value of US$995 million.
This year also sees many further new entrants including: NTUC Income and JTC, SP Group, Thomson Medical, Soup Restaurant and Achieva.
Samir Dixit, Manging Director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific highlighted that “Unless companies have a strong brand agenda and are managing the strength and value of their in a concentrated manner, we will continue to see large year on year variations in brand value, brand strength and brand rankings”.
Samir continues “The big problem is the brand is left to a few people in the organisation to manage and is never a serious agenda for the board”. This is clearly evident as most of the top management or the boards have no brand KPIs for themselves or their firms”
“Most Singapore brands are typically very communications focussed and misunderstand their campaigns – which are mostly digital these days - to be brand building initiatives and that’s where they miss the big picture about the brand”. Added Samir.
Samir Dixit challenges that Singapore companies to be more brand-driven and not sales or offers-driven. This destroys the long-term value and the strength of the brand. Brand has to be a strategic agenda for the senior management and boards and must be managed like any other business asset and not just a legal trademark.”
“Financial companies continue to make up 37% of the top 100 value. As Singapore further develops, we expect consolidation in the banking sector, so it will be interesting to see which brands remain. Banks who can digitalise and remain relevant will be the ones who will win.”
Samir Dixit, Manging Director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific highlighted that “While Singaporean brands have grown, they will likely face strong headwinds ahead as they lose out to some other brands in the region in terms of brand competitiveness and value growth”.
“It is the brand strength for most brands that still remains a concern and also a significant risk. Brands must recognise this work towards mitigating it” stressed Samir.
Samir Dixit further commented that “The rankings still remains very top heavy raising further concern as the top 10 contributes over 62% of the total brand value. We would like to see more diverse mix at the top and a more significant value increase at the bottom, meaning other brands must start focussing on their value and brand strength.”