The Brand Finance Global 500 is an annual study conducted by leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance. The world’s biggest brands are put to the test and evaluated to determine which are the most powerful and most valuable.
Woolworths holds on to Australia’s top spot. Strong growth of 24% brings its total brand value over the $10bn mark, a first for Australia. Its position globally has improved too, rising from 113th in 2013 to 109th. It has gained ground on rival supermarket superpower Coles. Though Coles has also improved its brand value, this was only by US$428m against Woolworths’ US$2 billion.
In 2nd place, behind Woolworths is Telstra, which has shown the largest growth of any Australian brand. 37% growth to a total brand value of US$8.3 billion sees Telstra jump above BHP Billiton. At a global level, Telstra has become one of the top 20 most valuable telecoms brands for the first time. The operator has retained its advantage in network coverage over Optus and continues to leverage its brand effectively through its triple-play and broadband offering. A 9.2% growth in profits has led to an increased dividend this year for the first time since 2006.
ANZ is the most valuable bank brand in Australia at US$5.9 billion. Its ‘Asian strategy’ is proving successful; ANZ sponsorship hit the jackpot this year with Li Na’s win at the Australian Open (as a result of which an estimated 70 million Chinese viewers were exposed to the ANZ brand).
NAB is the only Australian brand in the Global 500 not to show at least moderate growth. An increase of US$16m barely registers and sees NAB fall 46 places down the global rankings from 223rd to 269th.
Westpac, though the fourth most valuable Australian bank brand in this year’s global 500, showed the most impressive growth (19% against ANZ’s 2% and CBA’s 3% and NAB’s 0%) and will be looking to continue this strong performance through 2014.