Woolworths has been named once again as the most valuable brand in the Australia's Top 100 report by Brand Finance, despite shedding 10% of its brand value over the year.
It means the number two ranking brand on the chart, Telstra, is trailing Woolworths by a nose hair on brand value, with the supermarket's brand value hitting $10,960million and Telstra's reaching $10,647m.
Brand Finance Australia MD Mark Crowe said the Woolworths drop in brand value is largely impacted by a tough year globally for supermarkets, and the brand's attempts to diversify into other markets such as home improvement.
Food price inflation as well as a $700m investment by Aldi, in WA and SA, is further increasing pressure on Woolworths and fellow supermarket giant Coles.
“We're also seeing good brand strength from Telstra, given it increased its brand rating from AA+ to AAA- ,” Crowe told AdNews.
“A lot of that is due to the investment it's made in customer engagement. Telstra puts a very strong emphasis on its net promoter score and so that intense focus on the customer is delivering brand strength for Telstra, which it is leveraging financially.”
The Commonwealth Bank increased its brand value by a whopping 50% over the year, reaching a third place ranking. In terms of brand power, which is less reliant on market conditions and more focused on the strength of the individual brand, the bank topped the ranking.
Crowe said the bank's 'Can' campaign would have contributed to the boost.
Other strong brands emerging from this year's brand power measure included Flight Centre, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Kmart.
“Powerful brands measures not just the volume in terms of value, but the real strength of the brand itself,” Crowe said.
“It's a interesting observation to look at the performance of brands like Flight Centre in the travel and airline sector, which is under terrific pressure for a variety of reasons but has been able to improve their brand strength.
“Brands can be a real strength when market conditions are challenging.”
Crowe said Qantas is a particularly good example of the importance of having brand strength. Despite an enormous amount of turbulence in the industry, Qantas has increased its brand value by 11% on the back of its extensive new brand campaign.
“Qantas has proven to be fairly resilient, moving up a couple of places in the ranking,” Crowe said.
“Qantas is nostalgic and iconic; people feel parochial toward Qantas and that's a strong brand attribute that Qantas does leverage well.”
“When market conditions are tough, and when it's increasingly difficult to separate the offers between various brands, that is where the brand strength comes to the fore in people making their choices.”
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