Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test. They are evaluated to determine which are the most powerful, and the most valuable.
Verizon remains the world’s most valuable telecoms brand, maintaining its dominant position with a brand value of US$59.8 billion. However it very narrowly avoided being usurped by AT&T. Though a planned merger with Vodafone never came to pass, AT&T’s brand has been boosted by the acquisition of DirecTV and its 38 million video subscribers. The move significantly strengthens its quad-play proposition.
BT has been rapidly diversifying its own offering. Its battle with Sky for rights to the next three years’ of Premier League football saw record £5.14 billion (US$ 7.9bn) paid overall. BT is widely seen to have got the better end of the deal paying £3.5 million (US$5.4m) less per match than Sky. The incredible 71% increase in the total paid for the broadcast right shows just how important content has become.
BT’s rapid expansion strategy has created a communications giant offering fixed-line services, broadband, mobile and TV with a brand value of over US$16 billion. Commenting on Brand Finance’s research, Suzi Williams, BT Group marketing and brand director, said: “In 2008/9, people compared the BT brand challenge to turning around an oil tanker. Five years later and not only has BT’s brand value doubled, but BT has entered the top ten global telco brand list for the first time. The steps we took to build the brand have really paid off – first our investment in fibre set a new course for the business, London 2012 put BT at the heart of the nation, and BT Sport continues to accelerate our brand relevance and momentum. It’s a real testament to a bold vision consistently executed, and to a committed and tenacious team.”
BT’s latest bold move has been the acquisition of EE. The EE brand was created less than five years ago and huge investments were made to develop what is now a $5.8 billion brand in such a short time. BT has stated that the EE brand is secure in the short term, but it will be interesting to see whether BT brings EE under its umbrella brand in the longer term.
Deutsche Telekom’s T brand holds firm as the World’s fourth most valuable telecoms brand. It stands out among Eurozone operators, many of which have seen their value stay flat or decline this year such as France’s Orange, Spain’s Movistar and Italy’s TIM.
China Mobile is this year’s big winner. Its brand value has increased 50% in a year from US$31.8 billion to US$47.9 billion. Despite already having the world’s largest 4G LTE network, it has ample scope to grow and could easily become the world’s most valuable telecoms brand in 2016.
Another Chinese brand having a major impact on the industry is Huawei. Brand Finance has separately analysed the brand values of the top 10 infrastructure providers and the Huawei brand is the fastest growing of the set. An expanding list of sponsorships including come of Europe’s biggest football clubs such as Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, PSG, AC Milan and Ajax is rapidly building a public profile to match Huawei’s commercial success. Its US$11.6 billion brand value puts it second on the list behind Cisco (US$23.2 billion).
Qualcomm’s brand value is up 15% to US$ billion, in part thanks to the unprecedented success of the iPhone 6, for which it supplies chips. Though the recent US$975 million fine from the Chinese government for antitrust violations is significant, it could have been far more punitive. Qualcomm is still well placed to profit from China’s booming smart phone market.
Brand values for hundreds of the world’s top brands from all industries can be found on Brand Finance’s website.