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Marlboro lights its way up rankings to defend world’s most valuable tobacco brand title

28 June 2019
This article is more than 1 year old.

·         Marlboro top of league, brand value up 10% to US$33.6 billion

·         Indonesia’s Sampoerna moves up a notch, brand value US$3.2 billion

·         Grizzly new entrant from British American Tobacco slides in at US$2.7 billion

·         L&M is world’s strongest tobacco brand, registers Brand Strength Index (BSI) score 77.40 out of 100 and AAA brand rating

View the full Brand Finance Tobacco 10 2019 report here

Marlboro is the world’s most valuable tobacco brand, with a brand value of US$33.6 billion, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy.

As cigarette use declines in developed markets, tobacco brands are racing to develop next-generation products to fuel growth. Marlboro has seen success with its iQOS tobacco heating system which uses sophisticated electronics to heat specially designed heated tobacco units up to 350°C, without combustion, fire, ash, or smoke. This generates a flavourful nicotine-containing vapor, releasing the taste of heated tobacco. Marlboro, owned by Phillip Morris International, has an impressive brand presence through its sporting sponsorships, such as its longstanding commitment to Formula 1 and Ferrari.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“As smoking habits continue to evolve and we see more smokers opting for vapes or e-cigarettes, the tobacco brands have not seen drastic improvements in their brand values since last year. There is now such a huge variety of alternative products that mean less smokers are purchasing packs of cigarettes and instead buying e-cigarettes which are widely available in local supermarkets, online, and in specialist vape shops.”

PMI’s Indonesian perfection
Flying the flag for Indonesia, Philip Morris International-owned Sampoerna moves up a notch, its brand value at US$3.2 billion. Popular in its domestic market, Liem Seeng Tee was the founder of PT HM Sampoerna Tbk, one of the largest tobacco companies in Indonesia. In the 1930s, Liem Seeng Tee adopted the Indonesian name Sampoerna meaning "perfection" as his family name, thus becoming the company's namesake.

Grizzly new entrant from BAT slides in at US$2.7 billion
The sole new entry to this year’s Brand Finance Tobacco 10 2019 league table is a British American Tobacco brand called Grizzly (brand value US$2.7 billion), making it the world’s 9th most valuable tobacco brand. Grizzly is an American brand of dipping tobacco or moist snuff that was introduced in 2001 and is currently only sold in the US market. It is made by the American Snuff Company and is available in pouches, with a variety of Fine Cut, Long Cut, Wide Cut, and Extra Long Cut.

L&M sparks up as world’s strongest
Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

The strongest brand in the sector belongs to US brand L&M with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 77.40 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand rating. In the brand strength stakes, L&M is followed by Marlboro (77.40 out of 100) and Chesterfield (74.66 out of 100).


Note to Editors
Every year, Brand Finance values 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands. The 10 most valuable tobacco brands are included in the Brand Finance Tobacco 10 2019 ranking.

Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

Additional insights, charts, and more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Tobacco 10 2019 report.

Data compiled for the Brand Finance rankings and reports are provided for the benefit of the media and are not to be used for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

Media Contacts
Sehr Sarwar
Communications Director, Brand Finance
T: +44 (0)2073 899 400
M: +44 (0)7966 963 669

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About Brand Finance          
Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy, with offices in over 20 countries. Brand Finance bridges the gap between marketing and finance by quantifying the financial value of brands.

Brand Finance helped craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668, and the recently approved standard on Brand Evaluation – ISO 20671.

Brand Finance is a chartered accountancy firm regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), and also the first brand valuation consultancy to join the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).

Brand Finance’s brand value rankings have been certified by the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) through the Marketing Metric Audit Protocol (MMAP), the formal process for validating the relationship between marketing measurement and financial performance.

Definition of Brand
Brand Finance helped to craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668. It defines a brand as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength
Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures, relative to its competitors. In order to determine the strength of a brand, we look at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach
Brand Finance calculates the values of the brands in its league tables using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Brand revenues are discounted post-tax to a net present value which equals the brand value.

Media Contacts

Konrad Jagodzinski
Konrad Jagodzinski
Communications Director
Brand Finance
Florina Cormack-Loyd
Florina Cormack-Loyd
Senior Communications Manager
Brand Finance

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