· Shell remains the Netherlands’ most valuable brand, up 2% to €33.5 billion
· KPMG’s elite AAA brand strength rating at risk following reputation challenges
· NN is the Netherlands’ fastest-growing brand, up 49% to €1.5 billion
View the full list of the Netherlands' 50 most valuable brands here
Shell has retained its position as the Netherlands’ most valuable brand with its brand value rising by 2% to €33.5 billion, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy.
Shell’s brand value is greater than the second, third, fourth and fifth Dutch brand values combined, reflecting its global leadership position in the oil and gas sector. The Anglo-Dutch giant’s brand value boost was primarily driven by oil prices rising by around 12.5% in USD last year, leading to increased revenue forecasts.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:
“Shell remains the Netherlands’ most valuable brand, in addition to being the world’s most valuable brand in the oil & gas sector, and the world’s 23rd most valuable brand overall. Shell is not only a world-renowned brand with an international presence, but one which is taking serious steps towards meeting the Paris Agreement goals and tackling climate change in the hope of delivering a world of net-zero emissions.”
KPMG’s brand strength at risk
KPMG (brand value up 9% to €9.8 billion) performed strongly maintaining second place as it sought to differentiate itself from the other Big Four firms. Its global accounting and commercial services competitors such as Deloitte and EY are making strong digital-focused strategic moves and reinforcing the offering of their cybersecurity and blockchain practices.
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.
According to these criteria, KPMG is the Netherlands’ strongest brand with an elite AAA rating. Whilst it is the smallest and most Europe-focused of the Big Four, Netherlands-headquartered KPMG’s strong consultancy and advisory side has effectively complemented its audit work. The brand is also renowned for its superb staff development and success rates in employees passing industry qualifications such as the ACA and CFA.
The past year has, however, been a turbulent one for KPMG, since coming under fire for controversial audit work undertaken in South Africa for the Gupta family; suggesting that KPMG’s internal standard controls were not of an acceptable quality. Meanwhile KPMG’s London operations are being investigated for regulatory oversight with regard to their auditing of construction firm Carillion, which collapsed in January this year. Bearing this in mind, both the brand strength and brand value of KPMG could see a decline in the year ahead if appropriate action is not taken.
Big global Dutch consumer brands grow in value
ING (up 8% to €8.3 billion) and Philips (up 2% to €7.5 billion) retained their third and fourth-rankings, with both recording strong brand value growth. Heineken (up 11% to €5.2 billion) improved their ranking by one place, overtaking Rabobank (down 9% to €4.9 billion). Heineken also retained their position as the third-most valuable beer brand in the world.
ING’s brand value growth came as it continued to implement its ‘Think Forward’ strategy throughout the year. Of ING’s 37.4 million customers globally, 10.8 million used ING as their primary banking service, representing an increase of 900,000 primary customers globally. This is closely tied to new digital strategies, such as a new domestic service in the Netherlands where a new digital tool for small business customers links receipts and bills directly to transactions, giving customers one platform for their administration and banking.
NN is the Netherlands’ fastest-growing brand
NN (up 49% to €1.5 billion) is the fastest-growing brand in the Brand Finance Netherlands 50 league table this year. Now independent from ING, NN is able to fully grow and develop its own brand. The strong brand value growth can also be attributed to its acquisition just over a year ago of competitor Delta Lloyd, which has allowed the brand to leverage the new assets at its disposal. This is further compounded by the recent decision to rebrand Delta Lloyd as NN in a legal merger between the two, indicating a belief in the strength of NN’s brand since joining forces in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Note to Editors
Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 50 most valuable brands in the Netherlands are included in the Brand Finance Netherlands 50 2018 league table.
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 assessed through a balanced scorecard of factors (such as marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance) and used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand.
Additional insights, more information about the methodology as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Netherlands 50 2018 report.
Brand Finance helped craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668, and the recently approved standard on Brand Evaluation – ISO 20671.
Data compiled for the Brand Finance league tables 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.