· Qatari brands making strides in the Brand Finance Middle East 50
· Year-on-year brand value growth 6% globally, 11% Middle East, 21% Qatar
· The table includes the Middle East’s 50 most valuable brands
· Emirates remains the region’s most valuable brand at US$7.7bn
· Brands from Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt forced out of the top 50
Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test to determine which are the most powerful and most valuable. The top 50 brands from the Middle East are featured in the Brand Finance Middle East 50.
Emirates is the region’s most valuable brand and it continues to soar, with brand value growth of 17% taking its total to over US$7.7 billion. The airline continues to invest in ventures that enhance its brand. In mid-2015, Emirates spent US$20m to secure ‘Friends’ star Jennifer Aniston in an advertising campaign, which appears to have translated into improving brand strength. The scores for metrics such as preference, satisfaction and recommendation have all improved this year but those most closely tied to advertising, familiarity and consideration, have improved the most.
The UAE and KSA continue to dominate the list, contributing 16 and 21 of the brands respectively to the list. Qatar has the third most significant presence in the table with 8 brands. Qatar Airways continues to lead the way, with a brand value of US$3.5 billion. It is growing faster than Emirates, with year-on-year growth of 26%, though it remains a long way off rivalling the Emirati brand for brand strength and international renown.
Qatari brands as a group are growing faster than those from any other country in the Middle East. The average year-on-year growth rate for brands globally is 6%. In the Middle East it is an impressive 11%. However Qatari brands have an exceptional growth rate of 21%. Brand Finance CEO David Haigh comments, “The exceptional growth of Qatari brands reflects both the major strides the nation has made in developing a broader-based economy and the level of investment and expertise applied to its brands. We expect to see a continuation of this trend as Qatar rivals the UAE and KSA for dominance in the Middle East’s brand landscape.”
Brands from other nations have not fared so well. As recently as 2013 and 2014, brands from Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt featured in Brand Finance’s list. As a consequence of instability, perceptions of weak, corrupt governance and excessive government intervention in the economy, the Iraqi, Jordanian and Egyptian brands have fallen out of the table. Meanwhile those from Bahrain (Batelco and Al Baraka) have been squeezed out by the growth of Qatari brands.
Kuwait and Oman may suffer the same fate. In 2015, there were 6 Kuwaiti brands in the table. This year, there are only four, though Kuwait’s most valuable brand, NBK, continues to grow strongly. This trend suggests that while the countries of the Middle East outside the GCC have much more significant economic issues to address before their brands can thrive, smaller GCC nations (Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain) should take steps to encourage brand investment, monitoring and management.