Kantar and WPP Announce BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable UK Brands

BrandZ list includes some of the most famous brands in the world, and reflects the UK’s role as a centre for financial services, energy exploration and communications

The first annual ranking of the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable UK Brands has been announced today by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. The list includes some of the most famous brands in the world, and reflects the UK’s role as a centre for financial services, energy exploration and communications. Many of these brands are incredibly strong and enduring. They are also successfully keeping step with consumers’ changing attitudes and priorities as the UK prepares to leave the EU – providing value for money by demonstrating quality and longevity, and telling stories that resonate with people’s lives.

Services and infrastructure brands make up half of the Top 50. These brands, from the well-established telecoms, finance and utilities industries, hold eight of the Top 10 places and contribute 66% of the total value of the Top 50.

The BrandZ research reveals that the UK’s leading brands are well-known and highly regarded both at home and overseas. However, consumers do not perceive them as particularly innovative, which puts them at risk from smaller, newer rivals. Innovation plays an important part in value growth: the UK brands that consumers score highest on innovation are almost twice as valuable as those with low scores.

The combined value of the brands in the ranking is US$234.5 billion/£173.7 billion. Vodafone is no.1 with a value of US$27.3 billion/£20.9 billion, accounting for 12% of the ranking’s total value. It has a strong company purpose – to connect everybody to live a better today and build a better tomorrow. This is expressed through a new positioning, ‘The future is exciting, Ready?’, and inviting people to benefit from new and exciting technologies. Countering a general lack of love for its sector HSBC (no.2) has invested in internal change programmes and service innovations to make customers’ lives easier. These are starting to be reflected in improved customer perceptions, reputation, and brand value.

Exporting is vitally important for ‘Brand Britain’. The Top 50 earn 54% of their revenues outside the UK; for the Top 10 the figure is higher at 63%. The exporters that generate most revenues overseas include ASOS, Dyson, Lipton and Vodafone. Brands that are clear on what they stand for, are innovative, and know how to deliver a great brand experience are better positioned to cross geographical borders and appeal to consumers across the globe.

“The potential is high for UK brands to succeed globally after Brexit. They are steeped in heritage, and what it means to be ‘made in the UK’ is held in high esteem by international consumers. By emphasising and building on what makes them loved and trusted, while cultivating a profound understanding of how to be relevant to consumers in each target market, brands can successfully redefine themselves as leading exporters in the post-Brexit world,” said David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP.

The 2017 BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable UK Brands

Brand value
Ranking—Brand—Category—Brand Value(US$M)

  1. Vodafone—Telecom providers—27,299
  2. HSBC—Banks—22,000
  3. Shell—Oil and gas—18,490
  4. BT—Telecom providers—14,234
  5. BP—Oil and gas—11,367
  6. Sky—Telecom providers—10,826
  7. Tesco—Retail—8,876
  8. Lipton—Soft drinks—8,185
  9. Barclays—Banks—6,747
  10. O2—Telecom providers—6,033

“The UK’s household names must behave like leaders to protect their value. Fame and scale have sustained them well, but they’re vulnerable to disruption from younger, more innovative rivals. Without losing what makes them loved and trusted, UK brands need to refresh what they stand for to make it relevant to today. They should be quicker to capitalise on technology to make consumers’ lives easier, and communicate their innovations effectively to build perceptions,” said Louise Ainsworth, Kantar Millward Brown’s UK CEO.

Other trends highlighted in this year’s BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable UK Brands report include:

  • The UK’s leading brands lag their global peers on five measures that lead to long-term financial growth. They score only slightly higher than average across the five – purpose, innovation, communications, brand experience and love – with Dulux, Boots, BBC, Tesco and BA amongst the highest scoring. Over a decade, the UK Top 10 have grown less than a third as fast as the Global Top 10 (66% vs 249%). They’re seen as less innovative than they were in 2006, and are less loved.
  • There are 11 banking and insurance brands in the Top 50, contributing 21% of the total value.
  • The nine entertainment and telecoms brands account for almost a third of the value of the Top 50.
  • Retail also features strongly: the nine brands contribute $25 billion/£19.1 billion to the Top 50’s total value. Tesco (no.7) has improved its performance in the market by refocusing on customers’ needs, successfully improving the experience and service it delivers.
  • Trust is about more than being deeply established. The most trusted UK brands – which include BA, Cadbury, the BBC and Royal Mail – are more likely to be loved and recommended by consumers. However relative newcomer MoneySuperMarket, which is not currently in the Top 50, is 22% more trusted than the average brand, showing that newer brands can gain trust too.