Brand Valuations – The Top 10 Australian Brands for 2009

The Top 10 Australian Brands

This week there has been a lot of press coverage of Brand Finance’s ranking of Australia’s strongest brands. The study focused on brand portfolios owned by ASX listed companies and excluded secondary listings. The value of individual brands was not split out, so the results reflect the total basket of brands that an individual company may own. That means for some one like Woolworths, it is the combined ranking of the likes of its supermarket brand, along with Dick Smith, Dan Murphy’s and
the like.

Brand Finance reaches a total value of the corporate and consumer brands on its list by adding up a company’s market capitalisation, debt and intangible assets – which can be anything from the strength of its brands to loyalty schemes, supplier relationships and intellectual property.

The top 10 Australian brands, were ranked as follows:

Brand Valuation - The top 10 Australian Brands

When you look at the top 10 brands it is a great reminder that true consumer sentiment does not always play out. If you take a moment to reflect on the brands, to what extent do they conjure up in your mind a privileged position of immense consumer esteem, emotional connection or even love? For me, at least half of the top 10 suck when it comes to true consumer connection. They really have their place there because of the size of their market capitalisation and a self serving industry structure that means the average consumer feels they have no real choice. I am a Commonwealth Bank customer and have never seriously considered changing because my expectation is that I would be offered exactly the same lack of love and devotion from the other three major banks. They tolerate me and I tolerate them. There is familiarity but there is no emotional connection.

Telstra has a firm hold on me for functional purposes only – they deliver mobile coverage to our weekend get-away, nothing more, nothing less; there is simply no choice.  Yes, perhaps I am showing my personal bias with respect to these brands, but then again isn’t that the sheer delight of having a blog, you get to share the things that you would normally just think.

Having said all that, there are a couple of brands within the Foster’s portfolio of brands that have me hooked – but in fairness to the banks I guess I will always have a preference for a VB over standing in the queue for a bank teller.

Peter Singline
Brand Scientist

4 Comments

  1. As a designer, my strongest response is that commercial success also has no link to the quality of the brand identity. For me, 7 out of the top 10 brands have a brand mark that looks seriously dated or just seriously unattractive.

  2. I agree Peter, consumer sentiment doesn’t always play out. True consumer connection seems to be put in the background when it comes to making the money. I have to admit though – I really like where Woolworths has gone as a brand. They deserve to sit on top.

  3. That’s a really interesting perspective Pete. I am an ANZ customer and the rebrand they’ve just gone through hasn’t done much for me, however I agree with your sentiments about Foster’s – “you can get it any old how, matter o’ fact I got it now”!

  4. As an Australian living in the US, I have to say I have often wondered why the strength of the Australian national brand has not transferred to consumer brands from down under. Those brands listed above are a great example of this. Sure, Australia is not a huge country, but neither is the countries that make up Scandinavia and they have a ton of great brands that have an international footprint (IKEA, Saab, Leho, Helly Hansen, Absolut, Bang & Olufsen, Nokia etcetera).

    As an Aussie this kills me to write this, but look at how good a job some New Zealand companies do of infusing their consumer brands with the ethos of the country. Canterbury of New Zealand, Icebreaker, 42 Below vodka).

    Beyond Fosters and Vegemite, and perhaps mining companies like BHP Billiton and Woodside, Australian companies are invisible in terms of international recognition and meaning. It’s a deadset crying shame 🙁

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