Brexit has taken its toll on brands within the UK. The two main factors driving the drop in all UK brands this year were the depreciation of the pound against the dollar and the uncertainty around the whole event, which impacted the discount rate we use for the UK market. Leaving these external factors aside, Vodafone and BT did not experience any major changes over the last year, both brands keeping their brand ratings at AA+ and AAA- respectively.
STC, Saudi Arabia’s most valuable brand and the Middle East’s most valuable telecom brand, grew 11% in value this year to $6.2 billion. The Riyadh-based giant demonstrated a departure from its once traditional approach. It is embarking down a path of ‘humanisation’, re-engaging its many stakeholders with a fresh, personable outlook. A clear indication of its success is the 5-point increase in its brand strength index score, proving that putting some heart into it pays off.
Like STC, Ooredoo has generally tried to employ a mono-brand structure. Since rebranding in its home market of Qatar in 2014, Ooredoo has pursued a successful rebrand strategy across seven other markets, establishing a significant regional brand spanning Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia. This has provided a platform for launching a new network in Myanmar, as well as fully dual branding with large, well-established operator Indosat in Indonesia.
Ooredoo’s brand value has grown from below $1bn to more than $3bn in four years, propelling it into the top 50. It is useful to look not just at the values of a specific brand, but also the combined values of all brands owned by a corporate organisation. This emphasises that brands are assets of a larger enterprise to be used to maximise business value. It also levels the playing field, in that companies that employ a mono-brand structure frequently see brands bearing their company name performing well in brand value league tables.