Strong brands survive and thrive
In uncertain times, Meaningful Difference remains the key to business success
I am pleased to welcome you to this year’s BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable Dutch Brands ranking.
Over the past decade, the Netherlands has emerged as a reliable linchpin of the European economy. Today, the Dutch remain a bastion of fiscal prudence on the continent – but the world has become far more complex. The COVID-19 pandemic has tested Dutch communities and institutions as never before.
This is not the kind of moment that yields silver linings: Only difficult adjustments, and hard-won breakthroughs. What has been evident since the early days of 2020, however, is the resilient spirit of the Netherlands’ people and businesses.
This year, the combined value of the BrandZ™ Top 30 Most Valuable Dutch Brands declined by 12 percent. Beyond this headline rate, however, lie the stories of leading Dutch brands that have protected their brand reputations – and even increased their brand valuations – amidst the most difficult of circumstances.
What these brands have in common is a theme we have emphasized across three years of this report. Namely, that authentic and distinct brand building remains the key to economic resilience.
In the months and years to come, you’ll read plenty of advice about how businesses can pivot to account for a profoundly changed world. But don’t forget that these companies will need strong brand assets to pivot around. Brand agility and brand resilience go hand in hand - a truth we explore in this year’s analysis of the BrandZ™ Top 30 Most Valuable Dutch Brands.
We know that brand strength is key. History won’t repeat itself exactly, but it is an important guide. Coming out of the global financial crisis, strong brand equity was the key to recovery. Globally, between 2006 and 2020, our BrandZ™ Powerful Brands Top 10 Portfolio increased 285 percent in value, while the S&P rose only 120 percent. The most important driver of that growth was Meaningful Difference — relevantly meeting consumer functional and emotional needs in ways that stand out and are trendsetting.
In the Netherlands, we’ve seen time and again that strong brands retain more of their value during tough economic times, and recover more quickly when market conditions begin to improve. This was the case during the banking crisis of 2013, and shows every indication of holding true today.
Intelligence is key to navigating these complex times. This report contains the latest findings around topics like corporate responsibility, the sustainability imperative, and Dutch e-commerce. Thought Leadership and Brand Building Best Practice pieces from experts across our network contain further insight on the Netherlands’ evolving brand landscape.
In this report, you will also find analysis of how brands can leverage new forms of Trust and Difference to retain brand value. And as always, you’ll find an overview of this year’s top performers on the BrandZ™ Top 30 Most Valuable Dutch Brands ranking, as well as an introduction to the two brands making their debuts on this year’s list.
As comprehensive as it is, this report should be taken as a starting point. I urge you to follow up with the experts who contributed to the report. They continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic on brands across categories, around the world, and throughout the Netherlands. We have an extensive library of annual BrandZ™ reports available. Each year we produce the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, an exhaustive report that delivers knowledge and insight about brand building developments, category-by-category, worldwide. We also produce annual BrandZ™ reports about the most valuable brands in countries and regions such as China, Germany, Indonesia, Latin America, Japan, and many more. I invite to you access the reports with our compliments at BrandZ.com.
One of our key strengths at Kantar and WPP — 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 trying times— please contact any of the WPP companies and Kantar divisions that contributed expertise to this report. Turn to the resource section at the end of this report for the contact details of key executives. Or feel free to contact me directly.
CEO The Store WPP, EMEA & Asia
Chairman, BrandZ™, and BAV Group