Bernard Lee

DBS extends the lead as the #1 most valuable Singapore brand. Starhub gets nudged out of the top 10 while UOB displaces OCBC from the #2 spot.

Press release   •   Jul 31, 2019 01:29 +08

Every year, leading brand valuation and brand strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test, evaluating which are the most powerful and valuable at a global level and also in Singapore by way of publishing the Brand Finance Top 100 Singapore Brands for the 12th year.

Singapore’s Top 10 Most Valuable Brands

Rank 2019 Rank
2018
Brand Sector Brand Value 2019 (USDm) Brand Value 2018 (USDm) BV/EV 2019 Brand Rating 2019 Brand Rating 2018
1 1 DBS Banks 9,027 6,498 21% AAA AAA-
2 3 UOB Banks 5,662 3,739 19% AAA AA+
3 2 OCBC Bank Banks 5,653 4,023 17% AAA AA+
4 4 Singtel Telecoms 3,552 3,426 17% AAA AAA-
5 5 Wilmar Food 2,703 2,829 14% A A+
6 6 Great Eastern Insurance 2,529 1,665 29% AA+ AA
7 7 Singapore Airlines Airlines 1,598 1,242 20% AAA- AAA-
8 10 SPC Oil & Gas 1,278 1,050 12% AA AA
9 8 Genting Singapore Leisure & Tourism 1,252 1,150 20% AA- AA-
10 11 ComfortDelGro Logistics 1,029 947 30% A+ AA-

Formidable Three

The three local banks have been performing well for several years and again in 2019, we see no other contenders being able to challenge the top three spots and it’s also unlikely that DBS, with US$ 9.0 billion brand value, will be dethroned from the top of the Brand Finance Top 100 Most Valuable Singapore Brands table for a while unless OCBC or UOB go for a big acquisition.

UOB finished second and managed to swap places with OCBC this year with a brand value of US$5.66 billion, while OCBC was third, behind UOB with a brand value of US$5.65 billion.

The 3 banks have contributed 38% of the total brand value in Singapore, up from 31% last year. The growth is in line with other financial brands around the world.

The Focus on Brand Strength

The brand strength, measured by Brand Strength Index (‘BSI’), shows that the average BSI of the Top 100 brands has reduced from 74.9 last year to 62.4 this year. Most brands however have remained stagnant in terms of their brand strength and while they may be doing well locally, they have been losing out to some of the key competitors in the region as they lack competitiveness outside of Singapore market.

Changi Airport is named the strongest brand in 2019 and one of the five brands with triple-A brand rating, along with DBS, UOB, OCBC, and Singtel. OCBC regained its triple-A brand rating meanwhile Singapore Airlines lost its triple-A brand rating.

Brand Highlights

ComfortDelGro made its way into the top 10 with a brand value growth of 9%, after missing it by a narrow margin in 2018. SPC rose in ranking and ComfortDelGro replaced Starhub in the top 10. Starhub’s brand value declined 13% and is operating in an increasingly competitive industry with new entrants.

Sembcorp finished at 11th place, rising from 14th the previous year with a brand value growth of 21%, thanks to the bright business performance in 2018.

Samir Dixit, Manging Director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific highlighted that unless the companies have a strong brand agenda and are managing the strength of their brand and the brand value in a concentrated manner, we will continue to see the large year on year variations in brand value, brand strength and brand rankings”.

Samir continues to highlight that “The big problem is, the brand is left to a few people in the organisation to manage and is never a serious agenda for the board”. “This is clearly evident from the fact that most of the top management or the boards have no Brand KPI for themselves or their firms”

“Most Singapore brands are typically very communications focussed and misunderstand their campaigns (mostly digital these days) to be brand building initiative and that’s where they miss the big picture about the brand”. Added Samir.

Samir Dixit continues to challenge the Singapore companies to be more brand-driven and not sales or offers-driven. This destroys the long-term value and the strength of the brand. Brand has to be a strategic agenda for the senior management and boards and must be managed like any other business asset and not just a legal trademark.”

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading valuation and strategy consultancy, with offices in over 20 countries. We provide clarity to marketers, brand owners and investors by quantifying the financial value of brands. Drawing on expertise in strategy, branding, market research, visual identity, finance, tax and intellectual property, Brand Finance helps clients make the right decisions to maximise brand and business value and bridges the gap between marketing and finance.

Methodology

Definition of Brand

In the very broadest sense, a brand is the focus for all the expectations and opinions held by customers, staff and other stakeholders about an organisation and its products and services. However, when looking at brands as business assets that can be bought, sold and licensed, a more technical definition is required. Brand Finance helped to craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation, ISO 10668. That defines a brand as “a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos and designs, or a combination of these, intended to identify goods, services or entities, or a combination of these, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits/value.”

However, a brand contributes to a company beyond that which can be sold to a third party. ‘Brand Contribution’ refers to the total economic benefit that a business derives from its brand, from volume and price premiums over generic products to cost savings over less well-branded competitors.

Brand Strength

Brand Strength is the part of our analysis most directly and easily influenced by those responsible for marketing and brand management. In order to determine the strength of a brand we have developed the Brand Strength Index (BSI). We analyse marketing investment, brand equity (the goodwill accumulated with customers, staff and other stakeholders) and finally the impact of those on business performance. Following this analysis, each brand is assigned a BSI score out of 100, which is fed into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand in the league table is assigned a rating between AAA+ and D in a format similar to a credit rating. AAA+ brands are exceptionally strong and well managed while a failing brand would be assigned a D grade.

Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of the brands in its league tables using the ‘Royalty Relief approach’. This approach involves estimating the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand, i.e. what the owner would have to pay for the use of the brand—assuming it were not already owned.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength on a scale of 0 to 100 based on several attributes such as emotional connection, financial performance and sustainability, among others. This score is known as the Brand Strength Index.

2 Determine the royalty rate range for the respective brand sectors. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database of license agreements and other online databases.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The brand strength score is applied to the royalty rate range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty rate range in a brand’s sector is 0-5% and a brand has a brand strength 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 Determine brand specific revenues estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a specific brand.

5 Determine forecast brand specific revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Brand revenues are discounted post tax to a net present value which equals the brand value.