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Sunday, April 30, 2017
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) tops the list of 50 most valuable brands in the Middle East for the first time this year in the ranking created by Brand Finance, a leading valuation and strategy consultancy. STC's brand value grew 11% in value this year to US$6.2 billion, the ranking shows.Emirates Airline, which has been the most valuable brand in the Middle East ever since the ranking was initiated in 2010, is second on the list with a value of US$6.08 billion, down 21%, said a report.A brand’s strength is assessed (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, preference, sustainability and margins) to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand. This proportion is projected into perpetuity and discounted to determine the brand’s value.Brand Finance Middle East managing director Andrew Campbell said: “The Riyadh-based giant demonstrates a departure from its once traditional approach; it is embarking down a path of ‘humanization’, re-engaging its many stakeholders with a fresh, personable outlook. A clear indication of its success is the 5-point increase in its brand strength index score, proving that putting some heart into it pays off."Others on the top 10 are: Etisalat ( UAE - US$5.51 billion); QNB (Qatar - US$3.82 billion); Emirates NBD (UAE - US$3.4 billion); Ooredoo (Qatar - US$3.1 billion); Almarai (Saudi Arabia - US$2.59 billion); National Bank of Abu Dhabi (UAE - US$2.49 billion); Zain (Kuwait- US$2.33 billion) and ADCB (UAE- US$2.18 billion).It is useful to look not just at the values of a specific brand but also the combined values of all brands owned by a corporate organization. On a portfolio basis, Etisalat comes out on top in the Middle East, US$1.5 billion ahead of STC. Its stable of brands includes not just its flagship, but also Mobily, Maroc Telecom, PTCL, Ufone and Moov, the report said.Qatar National Bank, the Middle East’s most valuable bank brand is up 56% to US$3.8 billion. QNB completed the acquisition of Turkey’s Finansbank this year and continues to strengthen its position not just in the Middle East but in Africa and Asia Pacific too.Qatar Airways has been hit by the same trend as Emirates, its brand value falling 38% to US$2.16 billion, meaning it has lost its position as Qatar’s most valuable brand to QNB, the report said.STC’s leadin position means Saudi Arabia can now lay claim to the region’s most valuable brand after years of the UAE taking the title. Saudi Arabia has been less successful in other respects however. It continues to have the most brands in the table, 18 to UAE’s 17. However this is down from 21 last year. It also continues to trail the UAE on total brand value, making up 32% of the total value of the top 50; the UAE constitutes 44%.Qatar continues to solidify its position as the Middle East’s third most important brand building nation, further marginalizing Kuwait, which used to hold that status. Kuwait’s four brands now account for % of total brand value, less than half the total of Qatar’s eight brands.Campbell continues: “Zain flies the flag for Kuwait. It has improved its regional rank from 10th to 9th and is the Middle East’s second most powerful brand behind Emirates. However Kuwait needs more brands to follow Zain’s example by investing in and managing brand value, if it to regain its podium position in the region.”Oman has just one brand in the list, with Omantel managing to improve its rank from 47th to 45th despite modest 5% brand value growth.2017 sees a positive development for Jordan and Lebanon which have both re-entered the Brand Finance Middle East 50. Jordan’s Arab Bank just edges out Lebanon’s Bank Audi with a brand value of US$382 million to US$368 million.
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