Saudi Aramco has claimed the title of Saudi Arabia’s most valuable brand for the second consecutive year, with a brand value of US$37.5 billion, according to the latest report from Brand Finance – the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy.
Last year’s Brand Finance Saudi Arabia 50 ranking saw the new arrival of the oil & gas behemoth, following the top oil exporter’s recording-breaking IPO. The brand maintains a considerable lead over the rest of the ranking, despite it losing 20% of its brand value this year.
As with other oil & gas brands globally, Aramco has suffered major dents to its profits in the first half of last year as it negotiated reduced demand and lower oil prices, which turned negative in April of last year. As the global economy starts to pick up and return to some level of normality, the brand will be hoping this uptick will be reflected in its profits.
For national oil companies (NOCs), like Aramco, economic contribution to national wealth is paramount to their mandate. To ensure this economic contribution is sustainable, NOCs must increasingly venture into new sources of energy for the world after oil. Aramco has made substantial strides towards building a sustainable future and is focusing on utilising technology and embracing digitisation to reduce CO2 emissions and create next-generation materials.
SABIC retains 3rd spot
SABIC has retained its position as the third most valuable brand in KSA, despite recording a 7% brand value loss to US$4.0 billion.
SABIC is committed to its vision of becoming the preferred world leader in chemicals by 2030, undertaking several strategic partnerships over the last year and aligning with the chemical arm of Saudi Aramco. The brand has strategically aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and developed more open and creative collaborations with other companies, NGOs, academia, and governments to better meet the expectations of customers and stakeholders.
Andrew Campbell, Managing Director, Brand Finance Middle East, commented:
“SABIC continues to consolidate its position near the peak of the chemicals industry, this year becoming the second most valuable chemicals brand in the world. The brand has maintained its investments in its global brand advertising campaign while also strengthening its highly regarded specialised technical sales teams. Both of these have contributed to its strong performance this year in spite of tough economic conditions.”
Mobily up 17%
Mobily is the fastest growing brand in the top 10 recording a 17% brand value growth and jumping two places in the ranking to 7th position. Mobily (brand value US$1.3 billion) has strengthened over the last three years by positioning the brand as the everyday hero. It has attained the highest Brand Strength Index score in its history at 75.4 out of 100 (brand strength rating AA+) and is in a strong position to capture the next wave of growth by seizing opportunities in the digital economy.
Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical up 24% following IPO
Following an impressive 24% brand value growth to US$234 million, Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical is the fastest growing brand in the ranking, simultaneously jumping six spots from 38th to 32nd.
Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical is one of the biggest healthcare providers across the nation, currently operating 20 medical facilities across KSA, UAE, and Bahrain, and employing more than 2,000 physicians. The brand undertook the first IPO in the nation since Aramco’s record-breaking IPO in December 2019, in March 2020 as the brand sought to leverage the government’s plans to ramp up the private medical space. This IPO saw founder Dr Sulaiman Al Habib become one of the richest doctors in the world.
stc is nation’s strongest
Apart from calculating 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. Certified by ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 50,000 respondents in nearly 30 countries and across more than 20 sectors. According to these criteria, stc is Saudi Arabia’s strongest brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 83.9 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA- brand strength rating. According to the Global Brand Equity Monitor research, telecoms providers do not have especially strong reputations in Saudi Arabia, but stc bucks that trend somewhat, being the only telecoms brand in the top 25 of those assessed in KSA.
stc has also celebrated an impressive 14% increase in brand value to US$9.2 billion. stc has recently doubled the capacity of its network, never compromising on customer service – something the brand prides itself on. stc is playing a crucial part in KSA’s Vision 2030 – a strategic framework to diversity the economy away from oil – through establishing a digital hub for the whole region, to accommodate future growth in the IT sector.
Andrew Campbell, Managing Director, Brand Finance Middle East, commented:
“stc’s brand has evolved and grown following its successful masterbrand refresh and extension into Kuwait and Bahrain at the beginning of last year. The company continues to execute its DARE strategy successfully and has strengthened its positioning as a company that enables digital life. Its commitment to digital transformation has been shown with stc pay, recognised as the first tech unicorn in Saudi Arabia.”
Despite relinquishing the top spot for brand strength this year, Al-Rajhi Bank’s(BSI 81.6 out of 100) Reputation score in KSA (8.4/10) is far higher than that for any other Saudi bank, but more importantly well above the average for all brands assessed in this market – in a sector where high scores are not easily achieved. Al-Rahji has a clear lead on functional dimensions such as customer service and value, but also connects well emotionally with Saudi customers, with high scores for popularity and closeness.
Note to Editors
Every year, Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, evaluating their strength and quantifying their value, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. Saudi Arabia’s 50 most valuable brands are included in the Brand Finance Saudi Arabia 50 2021 report.
The full Brand Finance Saudi Arabia 50 2021 ranking, additional insights, charts, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Saudi Arabia 50 2021 report.
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. Please see below for a full explanation of our methodology.
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About Brand Finance
Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions.
Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes nearly 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.
Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardisation of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671, and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.
Definition of Brand
Brand is defined 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 value refers to the present value of earnings specifically related to brand reputation. Organisations own and control these earnings by owning trademark rights.
All brand valuation methodologies are essentially trying to identify this, although the approach and assumptions differ. As a result, published brand values can be different.
These differences are similar to the way equity analysts provide business valuations that are different to one another. The only way you find out the “real” value is by looking at what people really pay.
As a result, Brand Finance always incorporates a review of what users of brands actually pay for the use of brands in the form of brand royalty agreements, which are found in more or less every sector in the world.
This is known as the “Royalty Relief” methodology and is by far the most widely used approach for brand valuations since it is grounded in reality.
It is the basis for our public rankings but we always augment it with a real understanding of people’s perceptions and their effects on demand – from our database of market research on over 3000 brands in over 30 markets.
Brand Valuation Methodology
For our rankings, Brand Finance uses the simplest method possible to help readers understand, gain trust in, and actively use brand valuations.
Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668.
Our Brand Strength Index assessment, a balanced scorecard of brand-related measures, is also compliant with international standards (ISO 20671) and operates as a predictive tool of future brand value changes and a control panel to help business improving marketing.
We do this in the following four steps:
1. Brand Impact
We review what brands already pay in royalty agreements. This is augmented by an analysis of how brands impact profitability in the sector versus generic brands.
This results in a range of possible royalties that could be charged in the sector for brands (for example a range of 0% to 2% of revenue).
2. Brand Strength
We adjust the rate higher or lower for brands by analysing Brand Strength. We analyse brand strength by looking at three core pillars: “Investment” which are activities supporting the future strength of the brand; “Equity” which are real perceptions sourced from our original market research and other data partners; “Performance” which are brand-related measures of business results, such as market share.
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 Brand Rating up to AAA+, in a format similar to a credit rating.
3. Brand Impact x Brand Strength
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. Brand Value Calculation
We determine brand-specific revenues as a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to the brand in question and forecast those revenues by analysing historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.
We then apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues and apply the relevant valuation assumptions to arrive at a discounted, post-tax present value which equals the brand value.
Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.
The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.