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LatAm Colombia Brand Stories

1. Águila 

One of Colombia’s best-known products, Águila has one hundred years of heritage and is a cultural icon.

Águila stems from the city of Barranquilla in 1913 and its origins can be traced to eternal rivalry between the cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla. Initially Águila was brewed by Bavaria S.A., a Colombian company acquired in 2005 by SABMiller. Known as ‘the celebration beer’, Águila has sponsored the Colombia national soccer team in every category for over 15 years.

  • Company: Grupo Bavaria (SABMiller)
  • Headquarters: Bogotá
  • Industry: Beer
  • Year of foundation: 1913
  • Website: www.cervezaaguila.com
  • Brand Value: $ 3,565 million USD

2. Ecopetrol 

Ecopetrol was ranked during 2013 as Colombia’s most profitable company.

Ecopetrol is Colombia´s largest petroleum company; it is ranked 39 worldwide and in the top five in Latin America. The company´s operations include exploration, production, transport, supply and marketing of its own oil surplus and by-products. The company´s stocks are traded at the BVC (Bolsa de Valores de Colombia), the New York Stock Exchange, and the Toronto Stock Exchange. During 2013, Ecopetrol placed the most successful bond placement achieved by a Colombian company in international markets for US$2,500 million; the company was also ratified by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third consecutive year.

  • Company: Ecopetrol SA
  • Headquarters: Bogotá
  • Industry: Energy
  • Year of foundation: 1951
  • Website: www.ecopetrol.com.co
  • Brand Value: $ 3,446 million USD

3. Bancolombia 

Bancolombia is the largest commercial bank in Colombia and one of the largest in Latin America.

The bank is headquartered in Medellín and was founded in 1945. It has more than 7 million customers with a branch network that consists of 779 Bancolombia branded locations and 2,876 ATM’s in Colombia. Nearly 24,000 people work directly for Bancolombia.

Shares in Bancolombia have traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CIB since 1995. Also in 1995, Bancolombia became the first Colombian company to enter the US market. The bank is a Multi-latam company with presence in El Salvador, Peru, Puerto Rico, Panama and the Cayman Islands.

 

  • Company: Bancolombia SA
  • Headquarters: Medellín
  • Industry: Financial Institutions
  • Year of foundation: 1945
  • Website: www.grupobancolombia.com
  • Brand Value: $ 3,006 million USD

 

 

4. Banco de Bogotá 

Banco de Bogotá is the oldest bank in Colombia, its history dates back to 1870 when it opened its doors with COP $500,000.

Since then, the bank has achieved steady growth through mergers and acquisitions. In December 2013, the bank expanded its operations abroad by acquiring Grupo Financiero Reformador, Guatemala, through its subsidiary Credomatic International Corporation, and BBVA Panamá through its subsidiary Leasing Bogotá S.A. Panamá. The bank’s operations abroad take place through subsidiaries and agencies in Panama, the Bahamas, Miami and New York. In Colombia, it has more than 263 branches. During 2013, the bank was recognized by the Colombian Stock Exchange (CST) for the quality of its practices and relationships with its investors, as well as the dissemination of information.

 

  • Company: Banco de Bogotá
  • Headquarters: Bogotá
  • Industry: Financial Institutions
  • Year of foundation: 1870
  • Website: www.bancodebogota.com
  • Brand Value: $ 2,457 million USD


5. Póker 

Póker is the largest selling beer brand in Colombia.

It was first brewed in Manizales in 1929 and soon spread to the Coffee Zone and the Valle del Cauca, becoming the lead brand in Western Colombia. In 2004, Póker began a program of national expansion, entering Bogotá and the center of the country and achieving rapid growth. In 2008, the brand began a process of repositioning, with a change of image and new advertising campaign. A line extension in 2011 saw the launch of Póker Ligera, a beer with less alcohol.

In recent years, Póker has been known for its messages of confidence and positive attitude towards friends, even creating the ‘Póker friend’s day’.

  • Company: Grupo Bavaria (SABMiller)
  • Headquarters: Bogotá
  • Industry: Beer
  • Year of foundation: 1929
  • Website:http://www.cervezapoker.com/home
  • Brand Value: $ 2,365 million USD

 

6. Banco Popular 

Banco Popular is a market leader in consumer loans.

The bank was established in 1950 as a government owned institution and began the process of privatization in 1996 when entities controlled by Colombian finance magnate Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo acquired the bank. Today, the bank is the seventh largest in Colombia with a network of 184 branches and 925 ATM’s. In 2008, Grupo Aval acquired additional Banco Popular shares from the Colombian government to end 2011 with a 93.7 percent ownership stake.

  • Company: Banco Popular SA
  • Headquarters: Bogotá
  • Industry: Financial Institutions
  • Year of foundation: 1950
  • Website: www.bancopopular.com.co
  • Brand Value: $ 2,084 million USD

 

7. Davivienda 

An iconic logo makes Davivienda one of Colombia's most recognizable brands.

The Davivienda brand’s presence in the market consists of a network of 743 bank branch locations in 176 cities, 2,000 ATMs and nearly 15,000 employees serving 6.6 million customers. The brand was founded in 1972 as the Corporación Colombiana de Ahorro y Vivienda. The brand identity changed to Davivienda in 1973 and it adopted a distinctive and colorful logo known as La Casita Roja (little red house). In 1997, the Corporación Colombiana de Ahorro y Vivienda became a commercial bank and changed its name to Banco Davivienda SA. In 2005, Davividenda acquired Banco Superior SA and in 2007, Granbanco SA-Bancafé. Davivienda has operations in Panamá, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and Miami.

  • Company: Banco Davivienda SA
  • Headquarters: Bogotá
  • Industry: Financial Institutions
  • Year of foundation: 1972
  • Website: www.davivienda.com
  • Brand Value: $ 1,379 million USD

 

8. Banco de Occidente 

Banco de Occidente focuses on businesses and affluent individuals.

Founded in 1965 in Cali, Banco de Occidente was acquired by one of Colombia’s wealthiest individuals and major bankers, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, in 1971. The fifth largest bank inColombia, it offers comprehensive banking services with a special focus on large and mediumsized businesses along with medium and high-income clients. Today, Grupo Aval and other entities controlled by Sarmiento Angulo own 85.5% of Banco de Occidente.

  • Company: Banco de Occidente SA
  • Headquarters: Santiago de Cali
  • Industry: Financial Institutions
  • Year of foundation: 1965
  • Website: www.bancodeoccidente.com.co
  • Brand Value: $ 988 million USD

9. Une  

Une provides telecommunication services such as fixed, local and long distance calls, wireless and digital television services.

Une is a Colombian public company headquartered in Medellín; it was founded in 2006. EPM (Unidad de Negocios Estrategicos) controls the company with 51%, the other 49% is held by Millicom International Cellular (Swedish company leading solutions for the digital lifestyle in Latin America and Africa). In 2013, a merger process began with Millicom (TIGO), which is to be consolidated by the end of 2015. UNE aims to identify consumer consumption practices and designs products and services tailored to their needs, offering the ultimate in diverse technological solutions for large, medium, individual plans, and family and small businesses.

  • Company: UNE Telecomunicaciones
  • Headquarters: Medellín
  • Industry: Communication Providers
  • Year of foundation: 2006
  • Website: www.une.com.co
  • Brand Value: $ 931 million USD

 

10.Sura 

The Sura brand operates under two companies, Suramericana and Sura Asset Management.

The brand belongs to Grupo Sura, which was founded in 1944 and had its IPO in 1945. Suramericana S.A. offers solutions in insurance and social security. It has a number of sub-brands: Seguros SURA, ARL SURA and EPS SURA. It has support from GRUPO SURA, its parent company with a shareholding of 81.1%; the remaining 18.9% belongs to the reinsurance international company Munich Re.

  • Company: Grupo Suramericana
  • Headquarters: Colombia
  • Industry: Financial Institutions
  • Year of foundation: 1944
  • Website: www.gruposuramericana.com
  • Brand Value: $ 824 million USD 

 

11. Tigo 

Tigo is Colombia’s third largest mobile brand, with nearly 4.9 mobile customers.

Tigo’s origins date back to 2004 when UNE Telecomunicaciones SA ESP (owned by the city of Medellín), and Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá ETB SA ESP (owned by the municipality of Bogotá), created Colombia Móvil to offer services under the Ola brand. The brand name changed from Ola to Tigo following acquisition of a majority position by Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular SA, in 2006. The company recently merged with UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones S.A., Millicom Spain Cable S.L., EPM and Millicom to offer an integrated package including fixed and mobile communication, as well as pay TV and internet.

  • Company: Colombia Móvil SA ESP
  • Headquarters: Bogotá
  • Industry: Communication Providers
  • Year of foundation: 2006
  • Website: www.tigo.com.co
  • Brand Value: $ 811million USD

 

12. Exito 

Founded in Medellìn in 1949, Exito is Colombia´s leading retail brand.

The company operates 470 stores in Colombia and 54 in Uruguay; within the stores are brand names like Surtimax, Home Mart, Disco, Devoto, and Geant. Besides its core products, the Éxito brand is leveraged across a portfolio of businesses that include consumer credit, travel agency, insurance, textile and food, e-commerce, gas stations, and shopping center developments. In 1998, Éxito began online sales and the following year France’s Groupe Casíno acquired a 25 percent ownership interest in Éxito. Further investment gave Casíno majority control in 2007.

  • Company: Almacenes Éxito SA
  • Headquarters: Envigado
  • Industry: Retail
  • Year of foundation: 1949
  • Website: www.exito.com
  • Brand Value: $ 794 million USD

 

13. Pilsen

Brewed since 1904, Pilsen is the leading brand in the Antioquia region.

Pilsen is the official sponsor of the Festival of Flowers in Medellìn and aligned to the culture and traditions of the region. The brand is promoted as being ideal for sharing with friends.

  • Company: Grupo Bavaria (SABMiller)
  • Headquarters: Colombia
  • Industry: Beer
  • Year of foundation: 1904
  • Website: www.pilsen.com.co
  • Brand Value: $ 675 million USD

 

14. Avianca 

Avianca is a subsidiary of Synergy Group in Brazil and is the third largest flight company in South America.

Formerly known as AviancaTaca AirHoldings Inc., Avianca Holdings’ origins date back to 1910, originally serving the freight market by transporting cargo and mail nationwide and abroad. In 1940, the company merged with SCADTA and the Servicio Aéreo Colombiano – SACO. The first international flights covered routes to Quito, Lima, Panama, Miami, New York and Europe. In 2009, the company merged with Central American carrier TACA Airlines, and in 2010 formalized a strategic union, which includes Avianca, Tampa Cargo and AeroGal. In 2013, Avianca opened its VIP lounge at Bogota´s international airport “El Dorado.”

  • Company: Avianca-TACA Group
  • Headquarters: Colombia
  • Industry: Airlines
  • Year of foundation: 2010
  • Website: www.avianca.com
  • Brand Value: $640 million USD

 

15. Pietrán

Pietrán was launched in 2001 and is owned by Zenú.

Pietrán specializes in the premium segment of the category of lean meats including pork shank, beef, turkey and chicken. A highly recognized brand within the category, it is known for its low fat, low sodium products. Since its launch, the brand has established an innovative approach to product development, such as the creation of the turkey sausage.

In keeping with its healthier eating proposition, Pietrán is one of the main sponsors of the Bogota Half Marathon. 

  • Company: Nutresa Group
  • Headquarters: Colombia
  • Industry: Food
  • Year of foundation: 2001
  • Website: www.pietran.com.co
  • Brand Value: $ 620 million USD

 

16. Argos 

Argos is a Colombian leader in the cement industry and the fourth largest cement producer in Latin America.

The only producer of white cement in Colombia, and the second largest in the south east of the United States, the company belongs to Argos Group, founded in Medellìn in 1934. Its operations include nine plants in Colombia, three in the United States, and one in Honduras. It has a total of 388 plants located in Colombia, the United States, Panama, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Surinam. Recently the company entered the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

  • Company: Argos Group
  • Headquarters: Colombia
  • Industry: Cement
  • Year of foundation: 1934
  • Website: www.argos.com.co
  • Brand Value: $400 million USD

 

17. Zenú 

Zenú is a long established name in meat production and distribution.

Zenú began in Medellìn in the 1950s, and today is recognized for its high technological standards, quality control, unique flavor, and for innovating several brands in canned meats, sausage products and frozen fast foods, among others. Today the company has more than 2,500 employees.

 

18. Doria 

Doria is the country's largest pasta producer, with three product lines: Pasta Comarrico, Pastas Doria and Pasta Monticello.

The company was founded in 1952 and installed its pulp mill in the former headquarters of Sweets and Pastries Papagayo Company in Bogota.The Pastas Doria brand has long been associated with a chef with a big mustache who always greets you with a euphoric "Ciao bambino", a phrase that has become the brand’s slogan.

  • Company: Nutresa Group
  • Headquarters: Colombia
  • Industry: Food
  • Year of foundation: 1952
  • Website: www.pastasdoria.com
  • Brand Value: $ 362 million USD

 

19. Chocolates Jet 

Chocolates Jet is a chocolate bar manufactured by The National Chocolates Company, part of Grupo Nutresa, headquartered in Medellìn. The company started operations in 1920 as the Red Cross Chocolate Company. The National Chocolates Company is known for being the first industrial producer of chocolate confectionery and for offering the first chocolate drink that has been part of Colombian life since the 1960s. The company produces 27 brands across chocolate snack treats, hot beverages, milk modifiers, nuts, cereals and baked-goods. It was the first company to be certified as a Healthy Organization by the Colombian Heart Foundation.

  • Company: Nutresa Group
  • Headquarters: Colombia
  • Industry: Food
  • Year of foundation: 1960
  • Website: www.chocolates.com.co
  • Brand Value: $ 330 million USD

20. Costeña 

Costeña is the beer of choice for university students, who identify with its association with a youthful way of being and thinking. Its presentation is unusual, being produced in 350ml volume bottles.

  • Company: Grupo Bavaria (SABMiller)
  • Headquarters: Colombia
  • Industry: Beer
  • Year of foundation: 1934
  • Website: www.cervezacostena.com
  • Brand Value: $ 303 million USD