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Brand Profiles


Parent Company: Royal Dutch Shell PLC

Brand value: US $20,656 million

Headquarter city: The Hague

Industry: Oil & Gas

Year formed: 1907                

From humble beginnings as a family-run shop selling exotic seashells, Royal Dutch Shell has        become the world’s largest fuels retailer – operating filling stations that serve some 50 million people daily. In the late 1800s, the sons of London shopkeeper Marcus Samuel launched a fleet of steamers to carry oil through the Suez Canal; they called this venture Shell Transport and Trading Company. At the same, the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company was developing an oil field in Sumatra, Indonesia. The two companies joined in 1907 to become the Royal Dutch Shell Group, which was represented from the start by a scallop-shell logo. Though best known for its convenience-focused refueling stations, Shell’s vast reach also encompasses marine, aviation, chemical, gas, and low-carbon fuel operations. The company employs some 86,000 people across more than 70 countries. The company is publicly preparing for a transition to lower-carbon energy, and recently published a scenario detailing how society could meet the requirements of the Paris climate change agreement by 2070. Recent Shell communications have focused on its “Make The Future” campaign highlighting energy innovation, as supported by figures like Pele and DJ Steve Aoki; sponsorships encompass a wide range of motorsport activity. Royal Dutch Shell is listed on the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam, and the New York Stock Exchange.

2. Heineken

COMPANY: Heineken N.V.

BRAND VALUE: US $11,883 Million USD




From a single brewery in Amsterdam 150 years ago, Heineken has grown into the world’s most international brewer. Heineken is the number one brewer in Europe and the number two brewer in the world. They have over 80,000 employees and operate breweries, cider plants, and other production facilities in more than 70 countries. In the last decade, Heineken has significantly increased its exposure to emerging markets like China. Led by the Heineken brand, the Group now has a portfolio of more than 300 international, regional, local, and specialty beverages. Their premium beer and cider brands include Birra Moretti, Red Stripe and Tiger beers. Heineken’s instantly recognizable star logo dates back to 1884 and was adapted from the medieval sign for beer; the brand’s green colorway also helps the brand stand out in stores and restaurants. In recognition of the Heineken brand’s vast global reach – and of the difficulty in translating a single message across many cultures -– Heineken has dropped the use of a tagline in its most recent advertisements, focusing instead on visual expressions of its core brand themes of sociality, energy, and fun. These themes are also represented in Heineken’s sponsorships of the UEFA Champions League, Formula 1, and the James Bond franchise.

3.  Booking.com

Parent Company: Booking Holdings Inc. (previously The Priceline Group)

Brand value: US $11,866 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Travel Agency

Year formed: Bookings.nl was founded in 1996 (in 2005 The Priceline Group bought the company and changed the name of the website into Booking.com)

Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Today, it’s more than just a hotel site: with a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, you can book any kind of accommodation, including apartments, family-run B&Bs, luxury resorts, tree houses, and igloos. In other words, and as their slogan puts it: “Booking.com: hotels, homes and everything in between.”  The company employs more than 17,000 employees across 198 offices in 70 countries worldwide; each day, more than 1,550,000 room nights are reserved on the platform, all with a price-match guarantee. The company’s marketing focus has long been focused on driving performance (especially through search engine advertising, online displays, and partnerships). Recently, however, the brand has started doing more extensive TV and video advertising in the Netherlands and beyond — most notably its authentic, emotional One Mission spot, which was shot by booking.com’s own employees on their trips around the world. Booking.com’s parent company, Booking Holdings Inc. (formerly The Priceline Group Inc.) is listed on Nasdaq.

4. ING

Parent Company: ING Groep N.V.

Brand value:  US $10,727 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Banks

Year formed: 1881

ING is a Dutch banking group – the Netherlands’ largest – that has long been heralded for its agile embrace of technology. ING is present in over 40 countries and offers banking services to more than 37 million retail and wholesale banking customers worldwide. ING is a brand with a clear purpose: “Empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business.” ING has embraced digital disruption by focusing on user experience across all channels, including an early push toward online banking at home and abroad. Anchoring these changes is the brand’s orange lion logo, which underlines ING’s strong Dutch roots in the country’s postal savings system. ING employs more than 13,000 Dutch workers, and more than 3 million Dutch people use ING’s mobile app. The Netherlands is also the incubator for a new type of ING branch that’s modeled on a home, where people can get personal banking advice, have a coffee, and hold community meetings. ING sponsors the Rijksmuseum, the Royal Dutch Football Federation, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In the first half of 2018 ING announced its plans to return to distributing online insurance, and touted its innovations in the blockchain space; the company also paid government settlements related to its anti-money-laundering protections. ING’s stock is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange.

5. Philips

Parent Company: Koninklijke Philips N.V.

Brand value: US $10,714 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Technology

Year formed: 1891

Koninklijke (Royal) Philips N.V. is a Dutch multinational technology company headquartered in Amsterdam. Philips was founded in Eindhoven in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik. Their plan? To bring cost-effective light bulbs to the masses. A string of iconic Philips inventions followed in the coming decades, including cassette tapes, boomboxes, electric razors, home video recorders, televisions, and more. As Philips grew, it segmented into three columns: Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Philips Healthcare, and Philips Lighting. For many Dutch, Philips’s success is proof that the Netherlands can compete in the global technology realm. In recent years, the company has sharpened its focus on health technology, acquiring firms in the medical imaging, monitoring, and treatment spheres, and spinning off its lighting business.  Philips has over 73,000 employees and recorded €17.8 billion in revenue in 2017. Just as significantly, Philips estimated that its products, many of them green, touched 2.2 billion people’s lives last year. The company’s “Innovation and You” slogan signals that even amidst a strategic refocusing, Philips will always be dedicated to harnessing innovation to improve people’s time on the planet. In the Netherlands, Philips’ sponsorships include the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Pride, and PSV Eindhoven. Shares of Philips are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange.

6. KPN

Parent Company:  Koninklijke KPN N.V.

Brand value: US $4,121 million

Headquarter city: Rotterdam

Industry: Telecom Providers

Year formed: 1989 (the current brand)

KPN as a brand was founded in 1989, but its legacy traces back to 1881 and the Netherlands’ first government-run telegraph service, which was soon combined with postal and telephone services to create a state-run communications powerhouse. By the 2000s KPN had privatized and spun off its postal business, leaving a core focus on fixed and mobile telecom networks as well as data, home internet, and television services. The client base of KPN is enormous, with 5.5 million Dutch consumers using at least one KPN product. As the industry changed and voice became just one part of KPN’s telecom offerings, the company communicated that its true goal was to live “at the heart of society” by connecting the whole country in myriad ways. As such, technological innovation has once again become a prominent part of the brand’s identity and communications – with ads often showing the emotional, societal, and sustainability benefits of greater connectivity. KPN sponsors the Dutch skating team, the Eredivisie football league, and the Rijksmuseum. Recently, the company’s innovation lab has also gained much media attention by testing out an autonomous drone taxi in Amsterdam.

7. Rabobank

Parent Company: Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.

Brand value: US $4,099 million

Headquarter city: Utrecht

Industry: Banks

Year formed: 1972

Rabobank is an international financial cooperative with deep roots in The Netherlands. The bank’s history goes back to the late 19th century, when small agricultural cooperative banks were founded by Dutch farmers and horticulturists around the country. Rabobank as we know it today was created in 2016 through the merger of 106 local cooperative Rabobanks and the central Rabobank Nederland. Nowadays, Rabobank is the Netherlands’ second-largest bank, serving more than 6.7 million retail and 800,000 business customers with a comprehensive range of financial products and services. True to its roots, Rabobank is also active internationally as a financial services provider in the Food & Agricultural and Sustainability sectors. Rabobank operates in 40 countries worldwide and services approximately 10 million customers. A series of rate-fixing and money-laundering scandals starting in 2013 damaged Rabobank’s corporate image, though trust in the bank’s retail operations has remained more resilient. Rabobank holds a spot on the ‘’The World Safest Banks 2017’’ list, and the bank was also a winner of the 2017 “Environmental Finance Green Bond Award.” It’s advertisements and CSR initiatives often focus on reducing hunger and food waste, and promoting a more circular economy. Rabobank’s sponsorships include the Lowlands festival, the Dutch Olympics team, and the Dutch national hockey leagues.


Parent Company: ABN AMRO Group N.V.

Brand value: US $3,394 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Banks

Year formed: 1765

Although parts of ABN AMRO date back to 1765, its ledger of mergers and acquisitions means that the bank encompasses many histories: banks for overseas Dutchmen, banks serving the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and the Netherlands’ first nonprofit savings bank are just some of the firms that have combined to make up modern ABN AMRO. Today, the bank is the Netherlands’ third largest: a modern, full-service institution with more than 19,000 employees and €390 billion in assets. True to its diverse background, ABN AMRO serves retail, private, and corporate banking clients, with a primary focus on the Netherlands and selective operations internationally. The core of ABN AMRO’S strategy is to be a “relationship-driven bank” that also stays on the technological cutting edge, especially in the area of mobile banking. ABN AMRO used to be one the biggest advertisers in the Netherlands, but in recent years media spend has increasingly focused on digital and radio. Many of its advertisements feature a character named Vincent and tout how sustainable investment efforts can lead to “Gains on all fronts,” and that “Finance the future.” Although briefly nationalized during the global financial crisis, ABN AMRO was re-listed on Euronext Amsterdam in 2015.

9. Ziggo

Parent Company: VodafoneZiggo Group Holding B.V.

Brand value: US $2,714 million

Headquarter city: Utrecht

Industry: Telecom Providers

Year formed: 2008

Ziggo has benefitted from - and often led - the trend of consolidation among Dutch entertainment service providers and telecom companies. Ziggo formed as the result of a merger between Multikabel, @Home Network, and Casema, and grew larger following a subsequent merger with UPC Nederland in 2015. In 2017, Ziggo completed a joint venture with Vodafone Nederland, further extending the brand’s reach. Nowadays, Ziggo has 9.7 million customers with nearly 4 million television, over 3 million internet, and 2.5 million fixed and mobile telephone subscribers. On the entertainment side, Ziggo is the biggest TV provider in the Netherlands with some 52% market share. It stands out from its competitors by holding the exclusive Dutch license to content like HBO series and Formula 1 Racing. (Ziggo and its competitor KPN have become so dominant, in fact, that some are wondering whether the Dutch government intervene to prevent a duopoly.) Besides advertising for its entertainment and voice bundles, Ziggo serves as the shirt sponsor of the football club Ajax, and also lends its name to the Ziggo Dome, a massive indoor arena that has hosted artists like Ariana Grande and Katy Perry. Ziggo is partly owned by Nasdaq-listed Liberty Global, and partly by London- and Nasdaq-listed Vodafone.

10. Spar

Parent Company: Spar International

Brand Value: US $1,911 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Retail

Year formed: 1932

SPAR is an international group of groceries and convenience stores offering a high quality, high value shopping experience — a focus on thrift that is echoed in its name, which recalls the Dutch word for “save.”  The first SPAR store opened in the Netherlands in 1932; today the brand counts more than 12,770 stores in 48 countries. In 2017, SPAR had €34.5 billion in global sales and served 13.5 million customers each day. While SPAR’s franchise model means that owners can tailor their store’s offerings based on their local context, the brand’s outposts are united by their green fir tree logo, a focus on price and quality, and a wide array of SPAR Own Brand Products. SPAR Netherlands in particular has been a fount of innovation for the brand, recently expanding its to-go offerings and convenience store formats, as well as offering checkout-less mobile payment through its SPAR University app. The brand’s Responsible Retailing initiative has led to more local sourcing as well as support for community wellness initiatives; Spar is also known for its sports sponsorships, most notably of European Athletics. Spar is partly owned by the Euronext Amsterdam-listed Sligro Food Group, and partly by privately-held Sperwer Holding B.V.

11. Amstel

Parent Company: Heineken NV

Brand value: US $1,888 million

Headquarter city: Zoeterwoude

Industry: Beer

Year formed: 1870

Amstel is an international beer brand that remains intimately tied to its Dutch heritage. Indeed, the brand’s name comes from the Amstel river, and its origins involve two friends coming together near the riverside to establish a brewery. Today Amstel is sold in over 100 countries worldwide and is especially known abroad for its light offerings. At home, the brand offers a full array of lager, pilsner, non-alcoholic, and radler varieties at an accessible price; it’s flagship pilsner is known for its golden, full taste. The brand enjoys a strong market position behind Heineken, and in fact Heineken N.V. Has owned Amstel since 1968. Amstel is well known for sponsoring the UEFA Europa league, the Amstel Goal bike race, and the Friends of Amstel Live concert. Amstel recently debuted a new bottle that underscores how the brand is “brewed out of friendship,” with brand communications reinforcing this theme. Amstel’s parent company Heineken N.V. trades on Euronext Amsterdam and in New York.

12. Takeaway.com

Parent Company: Thuisbezorgd.nl (Takeaway.com)

Brand value: US $1,046 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Online Food Delivery

Year formed: 2000

Takeaway is beloved in the Netherlands as a quirky national success story. It’s also, not incidentally, the leading online food delivery marketplace in continental Europe, connecting consumers and restaurants through its platform in 10 European countries, Vietnam, and Israel. Its beginnings are now the stuff of legend: Jitse Groen founded the site in 2000 when he was still a student, after discovering how difficult it was to order food online. Today, the company has 1,000 employees and processes upwards of 78 million orders annually; in the Netherlands alone the company processed 15.7 million orders in the first six months of 2018, up 21% from the year prior. The company protects its brand awareness with extensive advertising , often around the theme of “Time for Takeaway.com”; the message is that with Takeaway.com, food arrives “on time” so you can have a “great time.” These efforts have been bolstered by media interest in Groen’s rising fortunes following Takeaway.com’s Euronext Amsterdam IPO in 2016.

13. Nationale Nederlanden

Parent Company:NN Group N.V.

Brand value: US $995 million

Headquarter city: The Hague

Industry: Insurance

Year formed: 1845

With over 5 million private and business customers, Nationale-Nederlanden is one of the largest financial service providers in the Netherlands. It offers a wide range of financial services such as insurance, mortgages, pensions, savings, and investments. The brand’s parent company, NN Group, split from ING Group in 2013, and operates in 18 countries. Since the split, Nationale-Nederlanden’s communications have emphasized the individual focus of its services; its latest campaign slogan emphasizes that, “There is only one Dutch person like you.” The brand’s sponsorships focus on the individual sport of running, with support ranging from the establishment of a professional team in partnership with Nike down to helping amateur racers. In collaboration with Douwe Egberts, there is also a Nationale-Nederlanden Café in Rotterdam that offers workshops on themes ranging from retirement planning to barista skills. Shares of National Nederlanden’s parent company NN Group N.V. are listed in Amsterdam and New York.

14. Albert Heijn

Parent Company: Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V.

Brand value: US $916 million

Headquarter city: Zaandam

Industry: Retail

Year formed: 1887

Albert Heijn Sr. founded his eponymous grocery in 1887 in a tiny storefront; nowadays, Albert Heijn is the largest food retailer in the Netherlands, with some 950 stores and a market share of around 35%. Albert Heijn is known for its focus on gourmet products and innovation, which allows Albert Heijn to charge more premium prices than its competition. The chain has long driven food trends in the Netherlands: it was the first grocery to offer “self-service” shopping in 1952, and popularized products such as wine and refrigerators. Albert Heijn was the first Dutch supermarket to offer online grocery shopping, and this year opened up dedicated counters for vegan take-away prepared food. Albert Heijn also mastered “branded content” before that was a term of art; the chain’s food magazine, Allerhande, is the Netherlands’ best-read magazine. Last year the chain furthered its cultural reach with the launch of Youtube channel Appie Today, which shares daily food videos with Dutch netizens. Shares of parent company Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. are primarily traded on Euronext Amsterdam.

15. Aegon

Parent Company: Aegon N.V.

Brand value: US $909 million

Headquarter city: The Hague

Industry: Insurance

Year formed: 1983

Aegon is a multinational life insurance, pensions, and asset management brand with a rich history and international reach. The brand’s heritage dates back nearly two centuries, to the Dutch insurance organizations that provided modest funds for people to arrange burials. In 2015, Aegon became one of the top 10 largest insurance companies in the world, with some 26 million customers in over 20 countries. The company’s slogan is “Transform Tomorrow,” a directive they’ve encouraged by sponsoring hackathons worldwide. Fittingly, Aegon has also pursued social responsibility work centered around longevity, retirement, and aging; it has established a research center around these subjects and raised funds to combat dementia. The company also supports Dutch dance troupes, Amsterdam Pride, and a number of professional golfers. Aegon has been in the news lately for mulling potential acquisitions and for its efforts to narrow the gender pay gap; the company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange.

16. Senseo

Parent Company: Jacobs Douwe Egberts B.V.

Brand value: US $702 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Coffee Soft drinks

Year formed: 2001

Senseo is the name for a coffee brand developed by Jacobs Douwe Egberts, in a technical partnership with Phillips. The coffee system is known for the pads it uses to brew single-serve cups of coffee. The Senseo machine has become very popular (with tens of millions of machines sold globally) because of its modern design, convenience, speed, and lower price compared to some competitors. The Senseo system is the number single-serve coffee system in the Netherlands and several other European countries. Going forward, Senseo wants to be loved just as much for its coffee as for its appliances – to be a coffee brand that that wakes people up to embrace life, follow their senses, and enjoy being in the now. An international advertising campaign has been developed to support this idea. Jacobs Douwe Egberts B.V. is controlled by family-owned JAB Holding Company.

17. Action

Parent Company: 3i Group PLC

Brand value: US $505 million

Headquarter city: Zwaagdijk

Industry: Retail

Year formed: 1993

Established in 1993, Action is the leading non-food discount retailer in Europe. Action started as a small retail store in Enkhuizen, the Netherlands; today, there are 1,100 stores across six countries, with a combined revenue of €3.4 billion in revenue.  The core product assortment of Action includes household goods, office supplies, cosmetics, personal care, snacks, and toys. Notably, however, only 35% of the store’s product range is fixed, which encourages shoppers to return again and again, and leads to very high conversion rates for stores. Action has won "European Retailer of the Year" award for four consecutive years, and its focus on extreme value has spared it from pressures facing other department stores. Although Action does not have a webshop, they have a large online presence, including nearly 1.5 million Facebook followers. In 2011, British private equity firm 3i Group PLC acquired Action, though it may sell its stake or bring the company public in the coming years.

18. Jumbo

Parent Company: Jumbo Supermarkten B.V.

Brand value: US $486 million

Headquarter city: Veghel

Industry: Retail

Year formed: 1979

Jumbo is a privately held supermarket chain in the Netherlands that, after a string of acquisitions, has become a strong Dutch number two with 585 stores and over €7 billion in revenue. Unusually, Jumbo remains family-owned and adheres to an idiosyncratic manifesto of “7 certainties.” These include “lowest price,” “widest assortment,” and giving free groceries to those who are fourth in line in a checkout row. Jumbo has often won prizes for being the best retail chain, the best supermarket chain, and the most client-friendly company. Jumbo recently bought restaurant chain LaPlace as part of its goal to master all three ways people interact with food in a grocery store: “Make it, Take it, and Eat it.” Investments in online and mobile retail are aimed at turning Jumbo into a service provider in addition to a store operator. Jumbo has a long-running advertising campaign centered around Dutch actor Frank Lammers as a funny family patriarch, and also sponsors Formula 1 and cycling teams.

19. Douwe Egberts

Parent Company: Jacobs Douwe Egberts B.V.

Brand value: US $482 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Soft Drinks

Year formed: 1753

Douwe Egberts – also known as DE – is a Dutch coffee brand with heritage tracing back to 1753. Today, their range encompasses ground roasts, instant coffee, coffee pads, and more. They’ve adapted to modern tastes by offering drinks like cappuccino and espresso at home and at Douwe Egberts cafés. A strong theme in DE’s history is loyalty: In 1924, the company become one of the first consumer goods brands to introduce a rewards system. Eighty years later, DE’s is the oldest still active saving system in the Netherlands; almost 70% of all households have saved their Douwe Egberts coffee seals. DE is also created one of the most successful ongoing campaigns in Dutch history: “Neighbors’ Day,” which since 2006 has been celebrated as a time for neighbors to get to know each other. Nowadays, 97% of Dutch municipalities organize Neighbors’ Day activities, with over 1 million participants. Germany’s family-owned JAB Holding Company holds a majority stake in DE; Nasdaq-listed Mondelez is the second-largest shareholder.

20. KLM

Parent Company: Air France-KLM S.A.

Brand value: US $462 million

Headquarter city: Amstelveen

Industry: Airlines

Year formed: 1919

KLM is the Netherland’s official flag carrier, and is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name. A merger with Air France in 2004 hasn’t lessened the loyalty many Dutch feel for their airline, nor its national importance: today the company has some 35,000 employees and flies to more than 150 destinations. KLM is known for personal, premium service. This is exemplified by the iconic Delft Blue houses that KLM gifts to World Business Class passengers – but also by the company’s swift and innovative use of social media, which allows them to respond to customer communications “within the hour.” The company received a media boost when the King of Holland recently revealed he’d been piloting KLM flights for the past 21 years. Recent advertisements have focused on the theme of “Journeys of inspiration”; the company also sponsors the KLM Open golf tournament and the Amsterdam Dance Event. Its parent company Air France – KLM is listed in Paris, Amsterdam, and New York.


Parent Company:  Asahi Group Holdings Ltd.

Brand value: US $372 million

Headquarter city: Enschede

Industry: Beer

Year formed: 1615

Grolsch was founded in 1615, and is one of the oldest companies in the Netherlands. It earned the prefix “Royal” in 1995 in recognition of its contributions to Dutch heritage. Indeed, for all its international expansion — Grolsch is available in 70 countries – Grolsch remains one of the Netherland’s most loved premium beers, instantly recognizable for its swing-top bottle. Brand communications focus on the love of brewers and connoisseurs: taglines like “Craftsmanship is mastery,” “Beer-experts ask for Grolsch,” and “One day you will stop drinking beer and start drinking Grolsch,” underscore its premium position. In April 2016, Grolsch was sold to the Ashai Group by SABMiller, which had bought the brand some ten years earlier. The move has enabled Grolsch to expand abroad, and to share its messaging about craft, passion, and creativity — as exemplified by its sponsorships of the Toronto International Film Festival and FC Twente. Shares in parent company Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. are traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

22. HEMA

Parent Company: HEMA B.V.

Brand value: US $371 million

Headquarter city: Amsterdam

Industry: Retail

Year formed: 1926

HEMA is a Dutch department store focused on design and value. From the beginning, HEMA has been a department store for “ordinary people,” focusing on a “democratic design” approach for shoppers of all income levels. Products are arrayed in different in-store “worlds”  ranging food to home to fashion to beauty – all packaged in optimistic, clear, and typically Dutch ways. HEMA is the first and largest franchising organization in the Netherlands; today, HEMA has more than 750 stores across 9 countries. With a combined social-media reach of 1 million, HEMA commands a sizable online presence for its online and mobile stores; its loyalty app is also one of the Netherlands’ most popular. The company recently won media attention for its gender-neutral children’s line. HEMA’s budget offerings have insulated it from some of the pressures facing other department stores, and HEMA continues to expand abroad. Ramphastos Investments, owned by Dutch billionaire Marcel Boekhoorn, recently bought HEMA from Lion Capital LLC.

23. a.s.r. Nederland N.V.

Brand value: US $357 million

Headquarter city: Utrecht

Industry: Insurance

Year formed: 1720

a.s.r. is one of the largest insurance organizations in the Netherlands, and can trace its history back to the 1720 establishment of the Stad Rotterdam Verzekeringen company. Today’s a.s.r was formed through series of mergers in early 2000s, followed by a period of nationalization and privatization that culminated in a.s.r.’s listing on Euronext Amsterdam in 2016. The company now has 3,365 employees and revenue of more than €4 billion. Its insurance offerings and sub-brands fall into three streams: Non-Life (through brands like a.s.r., De Amersfoortse, and Ditz); Life; and Funeral Expenses. Many of a.s.r’s offerings in spaces like health and occupational disability rank among the Netherland’s top three providers in their categories. a.s.r has also recently begun to offer a variety of banking and asset management services, and is an active player in acquiring new assets. For the past several years a.s.r. has employed the Dutch rapper Sticks to tell “The Other Story” about the company’s social responsibility programs and insurance offerings.

24.Hertog Jan

Parent Company:  Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./N.V.

Brand value: US $296 million

Headquarter city: Arcen (brewery) / Breda (office)

Industry:  Beer

Year formed: 1915

Hertog Jan’s focus on premium beers has helped it retain loyal drinkers even as customers’ palates grow more sophisticated. The brand is eager to compete on taste and quality, as it is widely seen as a brewer with a meaningful edge in crafting delicious beer. Every year Hertog Jan’s limited edition “Grand Prestige” releases burnish the label by showcasing new types of craft technique (for instance, aging in oak barrels); many of these varieties have won international prizes. Hertog Jan’s brewers are a star focus of brand communications, and can be met during brewery tours. A recent, effective campaign featured employees at the brand’s Arcen Brewery working tirelessly to the tune of “It’s got to be perfect.” The brand’s credibility in operating “Out of the love for beer,” has recently allowed them to expand their range into non-alcoholic and radler categories. Hertog Jan’s parent company AB InBev is traded in Brussels, New York, Johannesburg, and Mexico City.

25. SNS Bank

Parent Company: De Volksbank N.V.

Brand value: US $199 million

Headquarter city: Utrecht

Industry: Banks

Year formed: 1817

SNS Bank is the fourth-largest bank in the Netherlands in terms of total assets. In 2013, SNS was nationalized by the Dutch government; In 2017, it was merged into state-owned de Volksbank. Moving away from the property investments that led to nationalization, SNS aims to be a bank for regular Dutch savers – a course that fits with the bank’s roots as the Netherlands’ first savings bank. Today, this “social” bank aims to stand out by offering “perfectly normal” services with a “human touch” across 197 branches. To underscore this focus, SNS offers slightly higher interest rates on savings accounts than its major competitors, aims to go climate-neutral, and recently pledged that it would no longer work with debt collection agencies. In 2017, SNS’s total customer base rose 1% to 1.5 million. Going forward, SNS has the ambition to be a larger, visible player in the mortgage and payments markets, while also navigating a possible privatization effort.

26. Bavaria

Parent Company: Swinkels Family Breweries N.V.

Brand value: US $ 194 million

Headquarter city: Lieshout, Netherlands

Industry: Beer

Year formed: 1719

On the eve of its 300th anniversary, Bavaria finds itself thriving at the intersection of heritage and value. It’s name refers to the “Bavarian” method of bottom-fermenting beer — it was the first beer made this way in the Netherlands — while its price positioning places Bavaria between private label and the big mainstream brands. The company saw record revenue in 2017 and nowadays exports to 130 countries worldwide. Their introduction this decade of non-alcoholic beers has fueled expansion into the Middle East while also serving as the centerpiece of a Diego Maradona-fronted campaign at home. These traditional ad campaigns are supplemented by well-known, humorous “ambush” marketing tactics. At a time when consumers are increasingly interested in sourcing stories, Bavaria also has the benefit of producing their own malt and owning their own water spring. The brand is privately owned by Swinkels Family Brewers (which was known until this year as Bavaria N.V.).

27. Honig

Parent Company: The Kraft Heinz Company

Brand value:  US $192 million

Headquarter city: Zeist, The Netherlands

Industry: Food and Dairy

Year formed: 1867

Though it’s been owned by KraftHeinz since 2001, Honig is an iconic Dutch brand, known nationwide for its orange packaging and advertisements featuring multicultural Dutch families. At the heart of the brand’s message is an imperative shout: “Aan tafel!” which means “Come to the table – it’s dinner time!” For over 150 years, the purpose of Honig has been to help families eat dinner together, mostly through manufacturing dry meal ingredients like pastas, soups, sauces, meal kits, and baking ingredients. In recent years, the brand has been challenged by increasing consumer preference for scratch cooking, coupled with distrust of packaged foods. In response, the company reduced salt and MSG usage in 2016, and this year launched a “365 Days Honig” digital campaign that features influencers combining Honig ingredients with fresh ingredients to create healthful meals. The company has also adapted to changing Dutch family dynamics by introducing packagings for two- and eight-person households. Shares of Honig’s parent company KraftHeinz are listed on Nasdaq.

28. Telfort  

Parent Company:  Koninklijke KPN N.V.

Brand value: US $175 million

Headquarter city: Rotterdam

Industry: Telecom Providers

Year formed: 1996

Telfort exists to deliver quality, reliable, and simple telecom services for a low price. The brand started as a collaboration between British Telecom and Dutch Railways, which was looking for ways to monetize the fibre-optic network along its tracks. At the beginning of the century, Telfort shuffled owners and was briefly renamed O2; it was clear, however, that the Telfort name retained strong equity, and the brand was reintroduced in 2003. In 2005, telecom conglomerate KPN wholly acquired Telfort. The brand has since expanded its consumer offerings while also making inroads among business clients, always with a focus on cheerful savings without compromise. Since 2011, Telfort’s advertising has featured a character called “Hans the fallen millionaire,” who demonstrates how to enjoy life with less income — while of course maintaining the same speed and quality of telecom products. Shares in Telfort parent company KPN are traded in Amsterdam.


Parent Company: Heineken NV

Brand value: US $120 million

Headquarter city: Wijlre

Industry: Beer

Year formed: 1871

Brand is the Netherlands’ oldest beer brand, tracing its heritage back to 1340 and the small town of Wijlre. Brand was given its current name in 1871; today, Royal Brand’s Beer Brewery N.V. is fully owned by Heineken. Brand’s brewery creates 14 different varieties of premium beer, which are primarily sold in the Netherlands with some distribution throughout Europe and in the USA. Brand’s core offering, a pilsner, is brewed with “more hops” than the competition, giving it a “unique, powerful,” fully malted taste. Another offering, the Imperator, was the Netherlands’ first specialty beer. The brand’s latest offering, a cloudy unfiltered pilsner, debuted last year. In 2014, Brand debuted redesigned bottles that married traditional blackletter font with a transparent, “label-less” body. This combination of modernity and tradition continues through Brand’s sponsorship of Pinkpop, one of the Netherlands’ largest music festivals. Brand’s parent company, Heineken N.V., is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam as well as in New York.


Parent Company: de Volksbank N.V.

Brand value: US $106 million

Headquarter city: The Hague

Industry: Banks

Year formed: 1960

ASN Bank is the Netherland’s first and largest bank to specialize in sustainable investing and saving.  ASN’s focus on social responsibility dates to its original identity as the savings bank of Dutch trade union members; the bank later became a sub-brand of SNS REAAL and then de Volksbank. Today, ASN’s 175 employees work on behalf of nearly 670,000 banking and credit card customers – an increase of 3.4% from the year prior. As the wider banking world has begun to adopting sustainable investment strategies, ASN has had to innovate to stay ahead of the pack. The bank recently announced that by 2030 its investments will have a positive net effect on climate and biodiversity, and that it will encourage garment companies to pay workers a living wage. Last year ASN also unveiled a new slogan – “Money can buy happiness” – which it supports with online and TV advertisements featuring cheerful animals. ASN’s parent company de Volksbank is owned by the Dutch state.