Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. The 50 most valuable German brands are included in the Brand Finance Germany 50.
Nivea is Germany’s most powerful brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88. Nivea has developed high levels of consumer trust for the superior quality and reliability of its products but this has been complemented by increasingly innovative advertising. Its sunscreen has been promoted with creative campaigns including a doll that turns red in hot weather to remind children of the risk of sunburn, a waterslide that dispenses waterproof sunscreen and even a model seagull that dispenses sun cream from its rear end. Though derided by some, it is an example of the commitment to improving customer wellbeing that has built Nivea’s brand over many years. That being said, its communications strategy has not always been so astute. Nivea attracted condemnation this year for its ‘white is purity’ campaign, perceived by many as racially insensitive.
The strength of Nivea’s brand has enabled it to ride out this missteps, however greater oversight of its marketing communications may be required to ensure it remains the nation’s most powerful brand. Nivea’s standing is also supported by the stable financial situation of the brand’s owner, which has reported another margin increase this year by 0.6 percentage points to the record 15%. Hamburg-based Beiersdorf’s sound results allow for new investments into brand development and extension.
Valued at €33 billion, BMW has maintained its position as the most valuable German brand for the third year in a row. BMW celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016; its heritage is a key driver of demand and customer loyalty. At the same time, investments in innovation, such as the BMW i electric car sub-brand, are positioning BMW well for the future. 2016 saw BMW set new records with net profit at €6.9 billion and revenue at €94.2 billion.
The automotive industry remains Germany’s top sector by brand value, with many other car brands placing highly. Mercedes-Benz claims third place in Brand Finance Germany 50 with a brand value of €31.6 billion. Record demand for the brand’s vehicles since the launch of the new E-Class Saloon last year was a particular source of strength. Like BMW, Mercedes-Benz is preparing for the growing spending power of the millennial generation. A new marketing strategy has been announced, based on “human-centred innovation” and “customised agencies”. Its humorous Superbowl advert is one of the first examples of the new approach. The more “casual” and “light-hearted” image is intended to make the brand more appealing to young people, for whom the technical specifications of Mercedes’ engineering excellence may be less relevant.
Volkswagen has a brand value of €22.255 billion, regaining traction after the 2015 emissions scandal. Other Volkswagen Group brands include Audi which is ninth, with a brand value of €11.2 billion, and Porsche which is tenth place with a brand value of €11 billion.
T (Deutsche Telekom) defends second place with a brand value of €32.4 billion. T is Europe’s most valuable telecoms brand (as noted in the Brand Finance Telecoms 500 report), though its growth can largely be attributed to performance outside the continent. T-Mobile US regularly records strong results and announced plans for expansion following its $8 billion offer in the government airwaves auction, accounting for almost half of the volume of all bids. In Q1 2017, new customer acquisitions in the US exceeded market expectations, continuing the rapid growth which saw 4.1 million new subscribers join the network in 2016. T is also reinforcing its brand at home however. It is investing in bringing faster internet connection to 1.4 million German households, and on promotions including creative projects such as the recently launched Lenz App, which reacts to anything magenta, the brand’s colour.
With a record brand value decline year on year of 43%, Deutsche Bank must hope that strong financial results for the first three months of 2017 are the first signs of its long-awaited recovery. In serious trouble throughout the fi nancial crisis, Deutsche’s brand value has continuously fallen from €11.036 billion in 2013 to €4.402 billion this year.
Note to Editors
For more definitions of key terms, methodology and more stories, please consult the Brand Finance Germany 50 report document.
Brand values are reported in USD. For conversions into local currency, please consult the hover over the ‘i’ button on the web version of the table and select.