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Categories and brands

With prestige brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen and Audi all calling Germany home, it is no surprise that the car category is the most valuable in the BrandZ German Top 50 ranking. Car brands account for nearly a quarter of the total brand value of the entire Top 50 – something we have not seen in any other BrandZ country ranking – and a distinguishing feature of the German economy as well as the BrandZ list. Indeed, in the most recent BrandZ Global Top 100 ranking (launched in 2017), cars only account for 3 percent of the Top 50 brands’ combined value.


What is, perhaps, surprising, is the relatively small influence of finance brands – there are only a handful of banking and finance businesses in the ranking – given the strength of Germany’s reputation as a leader in the sector in continental Europe.


Instead, the German Top 50 is populated with a wide range of brands that largely mirror the breadth of the national economy. Technology and telecommunications brands are heavy hitters, along with several large conglomerates that have become household names around the world, not just in Germany – names like Bosch and Siemens.


Retailers make a strong showing, led by Aldi and Lidl, which have taken the discount supermarket to the world having built a strong business at home first, and apparel brands ranging from the everyday (adidas and Puma) to the more exclusive (Hugo Boss) feature alongside well-established fast-moving consumer goods brands such as NIVEA, Knorr, and HiPP.


Sharing life, building a reputation


The delivery of phone and broadband services is fiercely competitive in Germany, with a host of challenger brands offering competing bundles and promises. In this crowded field, market leader Deutsche Telekom has built a public reputation for trust, reliability and innovation that makes its premium pricing feel like good value for money. The brand is a big spender on communications, sponsoring Bayern Munich football club, and using its distinctive jingle on TV and online with the promise “Life is for sharing”.