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Adding Meaning, Creating Value


Adding Meaning, Creating Value

The most valuable brands, not just in Indonesia but all around the world, are those that stand out from the crowd in a way that makes a positive difference to people’s lives. We call this having Meaningful Difference.

Meaningful Difference doesn’t just get a brand recognized or remembered; it also adds to the bottom line.

The most Meaningful brands in the Top 50 this year have an average brand value of $2.6 billion. This compares to just $609 million for other brands in the ranking – and remember, these are still some of the biggest and most influential brands in the country.

Indonesian brands with strong Meaning are, on average, worth more than four times the value of other brands.

Relative to other countries, Indonesia’s Top 50 brands score very highly on being Meaningful to consumers. Only China has a Top 50 with stronger Meaning.

Total recall

There’s another brand attribute that works with Meaningful Difference to build value for brands: Salience. Salience is a brand’s ability to spring readily to mind when a consumer has a need or thinks of a category. It’s about more than being famous; the name must be widely known, but it must also generate positive associations that make consumers feel good about the brand.

Indonesia’s Top 50 brands this year are all high performers for Salience, ranking well above other brands in the country. These brands tend to be leaders in their categories and are brands that consumers encounter all the time, either through their products, services or advertising.

As leading brands on Meaning, Difference and Salience, the Top 50 show they excel at understanding consumer needs, doing something different to their competitors, and meeting expectations that they will improve people’s lives. They then communicate in a powerful way to amplify the ways they are Meaningfully Different, over time creating Salience.

Indonesian Brands 2019

Meaning fuels strongest growth

The most successful brands know that Salience alone is not the way to engineer growth; they also need to have something truly Different and Meaningful to offer.

When we compare the brands in the Top 50 that have grown in the past year by at least 3 percent with those that declined value by the same percentage, we can clearly see that Salience in combination with Meaning is the way to supercharge growth.

Theory in Action


BRI is not just the number two brand in this year’s Top 50, it’s also one of the country’s leaders for being Meaningful, with a score of 185 making it significantly more  Meaningful than the average brand in Indonesia. It is a well-known and deeply trusted brand, with a large branch network and long history – and a promise to deliver “Service from the Heart”. BRI retains meaning by refreshing the services it offers, focusing on digital banking tools that make money management easier for individuals and small businesses and, in the past year, launching the BRImobile app for greater convenience. BRI’s brand value increased 17 percent this year, outstanding in a sector where most brands saw a decline.


The kretek cigarette maker Dji Sam Soe is one of Indonesia’s strongest tobacco brands. Dji Sam Soe has a Difference index of 146, compared to a 100 average for the tobacco category. Dji Sam Soe draws on more than a century of heritage and was famously the cigarette of choice for Indonesia’s first president Sukarno – something no competitor can claim. In its communications, it focuses on a long-standing commitment to quality, and preserving tradition.


The telecommunications sector is fiercely competitive, but Telkomsel stands out in people’s minds – and not just because it was one of the first players in the market. The brand has a Salience score of 192, putting it among the top few percent of well-known brands in Indonesia. This can partly be explained by the fact that 79 percent of telecommunications customers already use one or more of Telkomsel’s services. But Telkomsel works hard to maintain its position in people’s minds as a market leader with something to offer not just current but new consumers. It sponsored last year’s Asian Games, and has been expanding it range of services with the launch of a mobile gaming app.