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Regions United Kingdom: Slow-growth categories influence low value rise

Slow-growth categories

influence low value rise


Brexit did not help. But main the reason for 7 percent value growth of the UK Top 10—in a year when the BrandZ™ Global Top 100 grew 21 percent—is deeper and more systemic. The UK is home to many great, even iconic brands, but they are usually in categories that are growing slowly and experiencing disruption.


With three brands, Telecom providers is the most represented category. The oil and gas and global banks are each represented by two brands. One brand from each of these categories is also ranked in the UK Top 10: retail, soft drinks, and personal care.


The telecom providers encountered commoditization by Over-the-Top (OTT) companies that provide voice for free. At the same time, telecom providers invested in network infrastructure and attempted to reposition brands as content providers. Two of the brands, Vodafone and BT, declined in value. A third brand, Sky is new to the ranking this year.


The oil and gas category has been under tremendous pressure during the past three years when oil prices declined to all-time lows, forcing the oil and gas brands to streamline their operations and plan differently for future growth.


Shell shifted its focus from oil to gas and the expansion of its downstream consumer business, which includes around 45,000 service stations worldwide. Shell surpassed Exxon Mobil as No. 1 in the BrandZ™ oil and gas category. BP also rose in value, as it regained strength eight years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.


Similarly, global banks enjoyed strong results, a decade after the financial crisis. Both HSBC and Barclays took initiatives to strengthen the banks for an era of open banking, expected to expand with new EU regulations.


Although they each rose in value, brands in related consumer-facing categories—Tesco in retail, Lipton in soft drinks, and Dove in personal care—faced similar pressure from changing consumer tastes and values and disruption by discounters, both offline and in physical stores.