Top 30 Brands worth US$50 Billion
The leading 30 brands in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have a combined BrandZ™ brand value of $50,402 million. To put that into context, this is about the same as the entire annual GDP of Jordan. These are the most valuable brands across both markets, based on BrandZ™ analysis across 19 categories of goods and services and interviews with 12,000 consumers.
STC LEADS INAUGURAL RANKING
The Saudi telecommunications giant STC is the most valuable brand in the Top 30, worth a tremendous $9.673 billion. The brand rises to the top thanks to a combination of scale and financial strength, coupled with bold communications initiatives that mark a departure from category norms, and a strong sense of purpose. The brand is closely linked with the
Saudi government’s digitization push, and touches people’s lives not only through its telecom services but its humanitarian efforts and work to promote opportunities for women, young people and those with disabilities.
RANKING REFLECTS DYNAMISM OF LIFE IN UAE AND KSA
Brands from nine categories have earned themselves a place in the Top 30, ranging from the homes people buy and the fuel they use to power them, the food and drink brands that generations of consumers have grown up with, the holidays they take and
the brands behind the increasingly digital lives they lead. Some have a heritage that dates back to the discovery of oil in the region, while a significant number have launched within the past 20 years. What they have in common is a willingness to keep pace with fast-changing consumer lifestyles and shifting priorities.
TELCOS AND BANKS ACCOUNT FOR MAJORITY OF BRAND VALUE
Four of the top five brands in the ranking are telecommunications providers or banks, and
these two categories contribute 70 percent of the combined value of the entire Top 30. We see a similar dominance of infrastructure-related brands in BrandZ™ rankings in other fast-developing markets; not only do they tend to have the financial might that propels them up the Top 30, they also play a key role in people’s daily lives so are very much “top of mind”.
BEING WELL-KNOWN POWERS GROWTH, BUT FAME ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH
Those brands that consumers say spring to mind when they think of a category are those that are well-positioned to increase sales and increase their brand value. But this strong presence in people’s minds – what we call “Salience” – is only part of the recipe for success. Our analysis shows that among the Top 30, those brands that are also Meaningfully Different from others in their sector are those that tend to be worth significantly more – and they can also command a premium. What’s exciting is that brands in all categories have an equal opportunity to drive up their Salience and Meaningful Difference, and in turn boost their brand value.
BANKS TRAIL ON KEY BRAND EQUITY MEASURE – BUT THERE ARE SPARKS OF BRILLIANCE
There’s no doubting the financial strength of the region’s banks, but they are among the worst performers among the Top 30 for Meaningful Difference. There are pockets of innovation around digital services, and several banks have been bold in creating services and communications designed to meet the needs and preferences of women, but these tend to be patchy. Brands in this category have an opportunity to maximize their brand
equity by honing points of difference that improve people’s lives, then communicating these effectively and consistently.
HEALTHY BRANDS ARE VALUABLE BRANDS
The BrandZ Quotient (vQ) reflects a brand’s performance on five metrics that are closely linked with rising brand value: purpose, experience, communication, innovation and brand love. Even small changes in one or two of these areas can make a big difference to how consumers feel about a brand – and in turn to its brand value. High vQ brands have almost
four times the brand value of low vQ brands in the Top 30. Brands can learn from the likes of Emirates and Almarai, which exude vitality and are strong performers on all the elements that make up vQ.
REGION’S LEADERS LAG ON INNOVATION
If there’s one area that all brands in the ranking should pay attention to, it’s innovation. With a few notable exceptions, the Top 30 are laggards on this important metric when compared to the most valuable brands in other markets. There’s a strong opportunity to capitalize on consumers’ digital connectivity in these markets by creating a seamlessly linked online-offline experience that meets people’s needs, wherever they are and on whatever device. It’s time to shake things up, get creative and lead the way, and there are lessons to be learned from global innovators in how it can be done.