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Canadian brands show their staying power


Canadian brands show their staying power

For most countries 2020 has been a strange and tragic time, Canada among them. While the country has long resisted the turmoil that can be found in Hong Kong, many European nations, and the United States, it has not been able to escape the pandemic too. Its overall caseload has been relatively low, but the economic and social disruption has naturally been high.

That being said, top Canadian brands have proved what we have often seen during challenging times in the past: good brands can cushion the blow of an economic shock. This year, the BrandZ™ Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands 2020 have largely held their value in the face of the crisis, falling only 6 percent, roughly in line with the S&P TSX index.

Perhaps this isn’t surprising. Canadians have built many iconic brands, including regional giants like RBC and TD Bank. This year’s standout brand, Lululemon, has grown using a unique approach that has made it the third largest apparel brand in the world by sales. In their home market, Canadians can find Canadian Tire and Tim Hortons, brands so beloved that they seem more like part of the national fabric than purveyors of goods and services.

In 2020, Canada’s Top 40 brands have a value of $134.8 billion. As in other markets during the pandemic, Difference seems to be the key factor driving both value and resilience. The more a brand meets needs in a way that consumers can’t get from anyone else, the better they weather challenging times and the faster they return to growth when a new normal emerges.

But whether your brand is thriving in these unusual times or bearing the brunt of it all, you should find in this report knowledge and insights to help you navigate the crisis and come out stronger on the other side.

Local Canadian experts have analyzed the results of our research and coalesced them into a number of Big Themes that highlight winning strategies and avenues for a return to growth. Our Cross-Category Themes reveal the major cultural and consumer trends shaping our changed world. In addition, you can find plenty of insightful analysis in the Thought Leadership and Brand Building Best Practice sections of this report.

In particular, I’d like to call out Chasson Gracie’s uplifting article on the positive cultural impact Canada is having on the rest of the world, as well as Deborah Bobier’s intriguing look at the rise of e-commerce in a virus-impacted market. But these articles only scratch the surface of the information and insights contained in this report on everything from purpose and advertising to footprint and customer experience. Reading it all should provide plenty of food for thought as brands find their way into a hopefully less eventful 2021.

How we can help

Despite this year’s challenges, and because of the urgent need to understand the altered brand landscape, we were determined to publish the BrandZ™ Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands 2020 report without delay. Still, I need to add a caveat: because the impact of COVID-19 is a fluid, our understanding of it is increasing daily.

This report represents a starting point, a moment in time that may already be passing. I urge you to follow up with the experts who contributed to the report. They will continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic on brands across categories and around the world.

One of our key WPP strengths—and a benefit for our clients—is that when we say we cover the world of brands, that’s exactly what we mean. The WPP and Kantar proprietary BrandZ™ database includes information from over 3.8 million consumers about their attitudes about (and relationships with) 17,801 brands across 512 categories in 51 markets. All that produces more than 5.3 billion data points.

To learn more about how to harness our passion to work for your brand—especially during these uncertain and trying times— please contact any of the WPP companies and Kantar divisions that contributed expertise to this report. Or feel free to contact me directly.


David Roth, CEO The Store WPP, EMEA & Asia Chairman, BrandZ™, and BAV Group


Brand Selection Criteria

Our proprietary BrandZ™ brand valuation methodology makes the BrandZ™ Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands 2020 the definitive study of brands in the country. The uniquely consumer-facing BrandZ™ methodology combines extensive and on-going consumer research with rigorous financial analysis. (See page XX for full methodology.)

We gathered brand perceptions from consumers across the global market and asked about brands with all kinds of ownership structures: individual private brands, family-owned conglomerates, and MNCs (Multinational Corporations). We selected brands that met our qualifying criteria: that the brand was originally created by a Canadian enterprise; and that the brand is either owned by a publicly traded enterprise or that its financials are published in the public domain. This approach produced a carefully conceived ranking of brands in 23 consumer-facing categories, including cars, banks, apparel, technology, and entertainment.

To learn more about the BrandZ™ valuation methodology, please contact:

Elspeth Cheung, Global Head of Valuations – BrandZ , Kantar Elspeth.Cheung@kantar.com.