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Toyota continues to “Go Places” as Japan’s most valuable brand

27 May 2019
This article is more than 1 year old.
  • Toyota leads the charge, brand value rising an impressive 18% to ¥5.8 trillion
  • Uniqlo ranked fastest growing, up 46% with brand value ¥1.3 trillion
  • MS&AD insurance brand shows promise, up 21% since last year to ¥616 billion
  • Shiseido eyes Chinese expansion, brand value rising a solid 23% in past year
  • Japan Airlines (JAL) fly high as the nation’s strongest brand, recording a high Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.5 out of 100
  • Last year’s Japan’s strongest brand, 7-Eleven looks to India for growth

Retaining leadership position as Japan’s most valuable brand, Toyota’s brand value has grown by 18% over the past year to ¥5.8 trillion, according to the latest study by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy. Extended to cover 100 entries for the first time, the Brand Finance Japan 100 2019 report on the nation’s most valuable brands is being launched today at Tokyo Midtown to kick off the annual Advertising Week Asia.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“Toyota has once again proved it is ahead of all Japanese brands as it defends the coveted title of Japan’s number one brand. Toyota’s commitment to spreading hybrid technology makes it a force to be reckoned with and it is these pioneering and innovative efforts which have made the brand so truly successful”.

In second place, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, or NTT Group (brand value ¥4.6 trillion), defended the title of Japan’s second most valuable brand, with its telecoms offering also retaining high status amongst the world’s top 10 most valuable telecoms brands this year. The NTT Group is formulating a broad restructuring program with its extensive international network of brands and is set to formally unveil the new branding, strategy and resources behind the combined company in the coming months. NTT is also said to be eyeing up London as a base for its new international headquarters.

Uniqlo inches up
Racing its way up the rankings is popular apparel brand Uniqlo which has grown 46% in brand value to ¥1.3 trillion, in 12th place, to take the title of Japan’s fastest-growing brand this year. Originally founded in Yamaguchi in 1949 as a textile manufacturer but now renowned across the world, Uniqlo has almost 2000 stores in operation worldwide and is much loved for its simple yet universal clothing design with essentials for women, men, kids and babies.

MS&AD makes its mark
Tokyo-based insurance brand MS&AD has seen impressive growth of 21% since last year with a brand value of ¥616 billion. Its stellar performance has also meant the brand has cemented its place in the top 20 of the world’s most valuable insurance brands. Formed by the 2010 merger of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, Aioi Insurance Co. and Nissay Dowa General Insurance Co, MS&AD is Japan’s largest non-life insurer. The brand has also been making tactical investments in disruptive technologies from its cyber insurance arm MS&AD Ventures.

Shiseido eyes up China
Cosmetics giant Shiseido has clocked up a solid 23% rise in brand value since last year to ¥583 billion. Shiseido has committed itself to its strategy of global expansion and product innovation, recording a healthy profit growth. The brand’s foothold in the Chinese market is only getting stronger through clever product adaptation and localised marketing. Recent plans announced by CEO Masahiko Uotani to strengthen the EMEA and American arms of the business will no doubt have a positive impact on its brand value in the coming year.

Japan Airlines (JAL) fly high
Aside from calculating overall 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. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

The strongest brand in the country belongs to Japan Airlines (JAL) with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.5 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA rating. Japan Airlines have maintained a consistently high reputation amongst their domestic market, attracting high loyalty with Japanese travellers. The airline has also set its sights on further expansion across international markets as well as its much-anticipated launch of low-cost carrier Zipair Tokyo, set for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Jun Tanaka, Managing Director of Brand Finance Japan, commented:

“JAL has been flying the flag for Japan in the airline industry for decades and it is extremely satisfying to see them achieve the top score in our Brand Strength Index in Japan this year. The quality of their onboard products and services, grounded in “Tradition, Innovation, and the Spirit of Japan”, is widely recognised. Driving customer preference, “omotenashi” (Japanese-style hospitality) can be a vital force for JAL to prosper during and beyond the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

7-Eleven looks to India for growth
Last year’s holder of the nation’s strongest brand title, 7-Eleven has maintained strong performance. The retailer’s Brand Strength Index (BSI) score sits at an impressive 85.9 out of 100, with a corresponding AAA rating.

The Japanese-owned US-headquartered brand is now looking towards India for new store openings. With over 2500 convenience stores in Tokyo alone, the brand also has a presence across Thailand, China, Denmark, Australia and the UAE, through area license and master franchise agreements.


Note to Editors
Every year, Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 100 most valuable Japanese brands are included in the Brand Finance Japan 100 2019 report, unveiled today at Tokyo Midtown to kick off the annual Advertising Week Asia.

On Thursday, 30th May, David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, will deliver a presentation on the “Impact of Brand Strength and ISO 20671” as part of the Advertising Week Asia Global Keynote Series. Later that day, representatives of the nation’s most valuable and strongest brands will take part in an Awards Ceremony and VIP Dinner at the Tokyo American Club co-hosted by Advertising Week Asia. To register interest, please email

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.

Additional insights, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Japan 100 2019 report.

Brand Finance helped craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668, and the recently approved standard on Brand Evaluation – ISO 20671.

Brand Finance is a chartered accountancy firm regulated by ICAEW and also the first brand valuation consultancy to join the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).

Data compiled for the Brand Finance rankings 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.

Media Contacts

Konrad Jagodzinski
Konrad Jagodzinski
Communications Director
Brand Finance
Florina Cormack-Loyd
Florina Cormack-Loyd
Senior Communications Manager
Brand Finance

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