§ Total value of Top 100 Singapore brands in 2018 has increased to US$45.0 billion, up 5% from US$42.6 billion in 2017.
§ DBS retains the #1 Most Valuable Singapore Brand for the 6th year in 2018 with an increase of the brand strength.
§ Singtel has managed to squeeze its way past DBS and Singapore Airlines to be the strongest brand in Singapore with AAA- Brand Strength rating
§ Top 10 brands contribute 59% of the total value while Bottom 50 brands contribute only 5% of the total value.
Every year, leading brand valuation and brand strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test, evaluating which are the most powerful and valuable at a global level and also in Singapore by way of publishing the Brand Finance Top 100 Singapore Brands for the 11th year.
The three local banks have been performing well for several years and again in 2018, we see no other contenders being able to challenge the top three spots and it’s also unlikely that DBS, with US$ 6.4 billion brand value, will be dethroned from the top of the Brand Finance Top 100 Most Valuable Singapore Brands table for a while unless OCBC of UOB go for a big acquisition or the 3 airline brands are merged together.
OCBC and UOB again finish second and third with a brand value of US$4.02 billion and US$3.74 billion. Notably, OCBC brand rating has dropped this year allowing Singtel and Starhub to be ahead.
The 3 banks have contributed 31% of the total brand value in Singapore, up from a marginal increase from 30% last year. The growth is in line with other financial brands around the world.
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 improved by approximately 5% from 70.7 in 2017 to 74.9 this year. Most brands however have remained stagnant in terms of their 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 Singapore market.
Singtel is named the strongest brand in 2018 and one of the three brands with triple-A brand rating, along with DBS and Singapore Airlines. OCBC has loses its triple-A brand rating and has dropped behind the 3 brands and Starhub.
Starhub and Singapore Petroleum Company, with 24% and 12% brand value growth, made their way into the top 10, replacing Frasers Centrepoint and ComfortDelGro, both operating in tough industries with increasing competition and market fragmentations coupled with not so favourable business conditions over the past couple of years.
ComfortDelGro missed the top 10 spot by a narrow margin, with brand value decrease of -12% pushing the company to finish at 11th place.
Samir Dixit, Managing Director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific highlighted that unless the companies have a strong brand agenda and are managing the strength of their brand and the brand value in a concentrated manner, we will continue to see the large year on year variations in brand value, brand strength and brand rankings”.
Samir continues to highlight that “The big problem is, majority of the Singapore companies don’t have the top management focus on brand. It’s just a lip service. Brand value growth forms a significant part of their shareholder returns yet most companies don’t even know what their brand value is, leave alone managing it”.
“While the Singapore brands have grown considerably well overall, it is the brand strength for most brands that still remains a concern. Also, the rankings still remains very top heavy with 59% of the total brand value contributed by the Top 10 brands and 95% contributed by the Top 50 brands. We would like to see a more diverse mix at the top and more significant value increase at the bottom which means other brands must start focusing on their value and brand strength.” Added Samir.
Samir Dixit also challenged the Singapore companies to be more brand-driven and not sales or offers-driven. While the sales focus helps in the short term, it 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.”