While Qantas still remains Australia’s most valuable airline, its rankings are beginning to slip, according to the annual study from Brand Finance.
Australia’s most valuable brand is Woolworths, with a value of more than $12 billion, whereas the other supermarket giant, Coles, slips into fourth place with a value of $7.097 billion.
Telstra is Australia’s second most valuable brand, with its value up 59% to $9.3 billion.
In third place is BHP Billiton, with a value of $7.377 billion.
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Qantas’ Troubles are Bad News for Brand Australia
The Brand Finance Australia 100, released today, is an annual study conducted by leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance. Australia’s biggest brands are put to the test and evaluated to determine which are the most powerful and most valuable.
The total value of all Australia’s top 100 brands now stands at AU$117 billion but some of Australia’s most iconic brands are showing signs of faltering. Qantas remains Australia’s most valuable airline brand, however it has slipped further down the overall rankings, from 14th to 17th. Virgin Australia continues to close the gap amid rows over whether the government should step in.
Qantas’ problems are bad news for Brand Australia. The national carrier flies the flag for Australia internationally. It is the first point of contact many visitors have with the country and its tailfins advertise Australia’s importance to travelers at airports worldwide. If Qantas were to fail, it would have a significant impact on attracting tourism, skilled people and investment to Australia.
Woolworths Winning the Supermarket War
Woolworths holds on to Australia’s top spot; 44% growth brings its total brand value to more than $12 billion. It has extended its lead over rival supermarket superpower Coles by $2.3 billion. Coles had a fairly successful year, growing 25% to $7 billion, but with Woolworths powering ahead, $5 billion of brand value now separates the two.
Telstra’s Stellar Growth
Australia’s second most valuable brand is Telstra; its brand value is up 59%, one of the fastest rates of growth of any Australian brand. A $9.3 billion brand value means that Telstra has become one of the world’s 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.
Telstra’s success has seen BHP Billiton pushed into 3rd place. While brand value growth remains positive for BHP and many other mining brands, the pace of that growth is slowing amid concerns about a Chinese slowdown in infrastructure and housing development.
ANZ is the most valuable bank brand in Australia at $6.6 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).
Billabong continues to struggle, falling further to 75th place in 2014 from 43rd. Richard Haigh, Director of Brand Finance Australia said “The decision to write off the brand on the company’s balance sheet seems to have been premature to say the least. Billabong continues to attract investors willing to attempt a revival. Though weakened, there is undoubtedly value remaining.”
Leighton has been badly affected by corruption and bribery allegations. Aside from the reputational impact, litigation also casts a shadow. Consequently its brand rating (a benchmark of the strength and future potential of the brand similar to a credit rating) has been downgraded to A+ and it has lost millions in brand value.
Retail Brands Under Pressure
A very crowded and competitive retail space sees both Westfield and David Jones suffer. Westfield’s sell off of several sites has compounded its brand value performance; it has fallen 15 places in the national rankings and lost $53 million in brand value. David Jones is also down 15 places. A merger with rival Myer has been mooted. Myer’s brand value is larger than David Jones’ and growing fairly rapidly (by 37% this year) raising questions about the long term viability of the David Jones brand under such a partnership.
Victoria Victorious in State Brand Battle
Victoria continues to hold off New South Wales as Australia’s top state by total brand value. Despite having fewer brands in Australia’s top 100, Victoria’s total is $57 billion, $9 billion ahead of and New South Wales.
Victoria has continued to pull further ahead despite now having fewer brands in the table that New South Wales. Last time around Victoria had 40 brands in the table against New South Wales’s 39, this year the numbers have been reversed.
Western Australia has 11 brands in the top 100, ahead of 4th placed Queensland, with only 7 brands. South Australia has three, while Tasmania, ACT and Northern Territory’s have no brands valuable enough to make the list.