CAN do: Commonwealth named most valuable bank brand

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 2 February 2015

Commonwealth Bank has claimed the title of most the valuable bank brand in the country in the Brand Finance Banking 500.

The ranking, which is a league table of the world's biggest brands, found that CommBank's brand value rose 37% to US$7.5bn (AUD$9.2bn) over 2014, taking the top ranking as the most valuable banking brand in Australia from ANZ, which had held the accolade for the previous two years.

In addition, CommBank's brand rating was upgraded to AAA- making it not just the most valuable brand in Australia, but the strongest too.

It follows a year of heavy investment by the bank in its Can campaign and well as a national support campaign in the wake of the financial adviser scandal, in which many investors lost life savings as a result of advice given by its financial advice network.

Brand Finance Australia MD Mark Crowe said CommBank's boost in brand value despite the controversy, is a sign of how reliant and strong it is as a brand.

“Commonwealth's brand value has increased significantly and I’d attribute that to two key aspects: obviously strong financial performance and their profit but also in terms of that brand value and very strong and successful contribution through marketing,” Crowe said.

“They've had an increase in profits but they've actually had a bigger increase in brand value, which shows the significance of that marketing.”

Commonwealth Bank brand and marking services GM Stuart Tucker said since launching the Can campaign in May 2012, the bank has seen a rise in both brand health measure and an increase in brand considerations.

“We know that the can campaign has created a broad brand platform which enables us to reach customers from all walks of life – from youth to parents to businesses,” Tucker said.

“The can ethos is bigger than marketing alone, it’s become an intrinsic part of CommBank’s DNA and is at the centre of how our people help our customers move forward.”

“It is embedded in the way we approach business, whether that’s a new product innovation such as the CommBank app; a blog post to empower customers to become more financially literate, or internal communications around staff development.”

ANZ's brand value grew by 8% over the year, with a brand value of US$6.7bn while St George entered the global top 100 with 20% growth, bringing it to a total of just under US$2 bn.

Collectively, Australia's bank brands had a positive year with only 3 out of 16 banks seeing a loss in brand value. Australian banks grew collectively by 14% to reach US$33.4bn, overtaking Germany in order to reach ninth place globally in terms of total brand value.

“Australian banks performed very well this year,” Crowe said. “It's down to strong financial performance, a competitive marketplace that brings out the best in brands, and the development of good omni-channel strategies.”

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