The fifth annual report by Brand Finance on the most valuable and strongest Romanian brands coincides with a time of great uncertainty induced by the global Covid pandemic. The economic turbulence is reflected inevitably in the Brand Finance Romania 50 2021 ranking, with the combined value of Romania’s top 50 brands dropping by 3.7%, to EUR 5.6 bn, while the Romanian economy declined 3.9% as a whole in 2020.
However, the top 50 brands’ combined value is almost 50% higher than in 2017 – when the first Brand Finance Romania ranking was published. Also, remarkably, 45 brands of the initial 2017 ranking are still present in the top 50 in 2021, while two missing - Bancpost and AKTA - were acquired by bigger competitors in the meantime, which demonstrates the resilient characteristic of solid brands.
Mihai Bogdan, Managing Director, Brand Finance Romania, commented:
“Brands are still sailing in uncharted waters, but we have reasons to believe that the stronger the brand, the better it will weather the storm. So far, riskier market conditions as a result of the pandemic have translated to higher risk rates this year, across most sectors, which have affected the brand valuations.”
The automotive brand Dacia keeps the pole position in the Brand Finance Romania 50 ranking for the fifth year in a row, even after a severe 18% decrease in brand value to EUR 1,130m. However, with second placed eMAG’s brand value up to EUR 799m, the difference between the two has halved compared to 2020 – so the race for the top position is getting heated.
Operating in a sector severely hit by the pandemic restrictions, Dedeman remains the most valuable brand held entirely by Romanian shareholders, defending the 3rd position in the ranking despite a loss of 9%, with a brand value of EUR 407m. Banca Transilvania is up one place and nearing the podium, with an increase in brand value up to EUR 376m.
Only one change among the upper echelon this year – with Catena climbing for the first time into the top 10, after an increase of 15% in brand value, up to EUR 122m; consequently, Bitdefender is sliding for now to 11th place.
Movers and shakers
New brands – created and developed by entrepreneurs and private companies over the past 30 years – account for 7 out of every 10 brands in the ranking, and with a combined brand value of EUR 3.1 billion generate 56% of brand value in the Brand Finance Romania 50 2021. Moreover, the number of brands created by the private sector over the past 30 years has increased from 30 to 34 in the ranking.
This year has seen only two new entrants in the top 50, both of them re-entrants from previous years. After a couple of turbulent years, the energy brand Tinmar is back with a brand value of EUR 22m, while Cocorico qualifies for 50th place with EUR 15m brand value. The two brands sliding out of the ranking this year are Bilka and Bog’art.
The economic climate wasn’t equal for all, and brands reacted differently – with 50% of the brands decreasing in value while the other half gaining. As a result, 30 brands kept their place or climbed in the ranking, and 20 brands dropped places.
The fastest climber this year is the pharma retail brand Farmacia Tei, going up 11 places to the 37th place, with a notable increase in brand value of 30%, to EUR 23m.
Next to analysing individual brands, the Brand Finance Romania 50 study also ranks the 10 most valuable brand portfolios, calculated for those businesses that deploy more than one brand into the market. These portfolios encompass over 40 well-known local brands, the most valuable of which are also featured individually in the main top 50 ranking.
The top 10 portfolios have remained virtually the same since 2017, with smaller contenders not growing fast enough to overtake the incumbents. What’s new this year is the remarkable 22% jump in value for Ursus Breweries, up to EUR 213m – which consolidates its leading position, fuelled by brand value increases for its main brands Timisoreana and Ursus. Conversely, Cris-Tim’s brands portfolio registered the highest drop in value (24%) down to EUR 52m.
David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance, commented:
“While the road to recovery and hopes are pinned on the speedy and successful rollout of the vaccines to open borders and kick-start the global economy once again, brands which have pushed the boundaries of technological innovation and were able to pivot their business to adapt to consumers’ changing needs have remained a cut above the rest, across sectors. 2021 is the final call to get on board for all brands still stuck in the 20th century.”