Woolworths has held on to the title of Australia’s most valuable brand despite a 10% fall in value to $11 billion.
Close behind in second place is Telstra, whose brand value grew by 14% to $9.6 billion.
The Woolworths decline can be put down to intense competition in the retail industry and the company’s expansion into slow growing categories such as home improvement.
The German supermarket Aldi’s $700 million investment in Western Australia and South Australia is putting further pressure on Woolworths and its competitor Coles.
The Coles brand has been hit with a static brand value of $7.1 billion.
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Mark Crowe, Brand Finance Australia managing director, says it’s been a tough year for supermarkets globally and Australia is no different.
“Expansion into new categories is very much driven by leveraging brand strength, with the objective of increasing loyalty and share of wallet, but it remains to be seen if these investments will pay off,” he says.
“Food price inflation has put additional pressure on thinning margins without the compensation of increased sales by volume.”
Telstra put in a strong financial performance, expanding its 4G network coverage and broadband speed and well as acquiring Pacnet which will extend its reach to China and California.
“Telstra’s prioritisation of customer advocacy is a critical component to maintaining a competitive edge and further increasing its brand strength,” says Crowe. “If successful, Telstra will be a strong challenger for the number one Australian brand.”
The Commonwealth Bank saw its brand value rise 50% to $9.2 billion, reclaiming its position as Australia’s most valuable banking brand from ANZ, which held that position for the previous two years.
The ANZ still enjoyed growth of 23%. The other banks also did well: Macquarie (22%), Westpac (26%) and St George (31%).
The dollar value of a brand is only half the story. Brand Finance also calculates the power of a brand.
As well as being the most valuable bank brand, the Commonwealth has seen its brand rating upgraded to AAA- making it Australia’s most powerful brand.
It scores highly on Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index including familiarity, loyalty, promotion, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.
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