Australia 100 2022

The annual report on the most valuable and strongest Australian brands

Brand Finance Australia 100 2022

Retail Brands Steam Ahead in Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 Ranking

  • Retail is nation’s most valuable sector in Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking
  • Woolworths most valuable brand for 3rd consecutive year, up 9% to AU$13.7 billion
  • Bunnings becomes nation’s strongest brand, scoring 88.5 out of 100
  • Challenges for big 4 banks, while Macquarie bucks industry trends with 34% growth
  • Reputation dent for telecoms brands despite 10% cumulative brand value increase
  • Flight Centre up 68% as leisure and tourism brands begin recovery from pandemic

View the full Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 report here

The total value of Australia’s top 100 brands has risen by 11% to reach AU$161billion, according to a new report published today. 66 of the brands in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking saw an increase in brand value, while 22 dropped, 2 remained stable, and 10 new brands entered the ranking. All major industries in Australia have risen in terms of total brand value, including banking (up 7%), mining (up 27%), telecoms (up 10%), and retail (up 15%).

Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. Australia’s top 100 most valuable and strongest publicly listed brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Australia 100 ranking.

The retail sector remains the most valuable in the ranking for the second consecutive year, with a cumulative brand value of AU$40.4 billion. Accounting for 25% of the nation’s total brand value, Australian retailers have enjoyed a brand value growth of 15%, outperforming other key players in telecoms and banking.

This trend was largely spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers spent more time at home seeking not just entertainment, but also online shopping and home improvement projects. Subsequently, brands able to embrace e-commerce and those offering essential goods and services have forged ahead, with 16 of the 17 retailers in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking recording brand value growth.     

Australia’s biggest supermarket chain, Woolworths has maintained its spot as the most valuable brand in Australia for the third consecutive year, following a 9% boost to its brand value to reach AU$13.7 billion. Holding a 33% market share, Woolworths has been pivotal in keeping the supply chain going throughout the pandemic. Over the last year, the brand has demonstrated an ability to adapt to the shifting retail landscape, expanding its online capability to better serve its large customer base. The brand’s strong reputation, loyal customers, and lower risk over the last year helped to navigate any potentially detrimental effects to its brand value caused by Endeavour Group’s demerger, of which Woolworths owned 15%.

Woolworths’ main competitor, Coles, held on to its 4th spot in the ranking, enjoying a 26% brand value increase to AU$9.9 billion. Over the last year, Coles has continued to demonstrate flexibility and innovation in the face of unprecedented demand from shoppers who stocked up on essential items ahead of local lockdowns.

Officeworks (up 45% to AU$473 million) and Harvey Norman (up 5% to AU$3.7 billion) have enjoyed a year-on-year brand value increase as home improvements and maintenance spend increased following two-thirds of the Australian workforce transitioning to remote working during lockdowns last year. As the nation’s largest supplier of office and stationary products, Officeworks has enjoyed a particularly fruitful two years, crowned as the fastest-growing brand last year and benefiting from a further growth in revenue and forecast this year.

The Australian retail sector has moved from strength to strength during the pandemic, overtaking the once-dominating banking industry to become the nation’s most valuable. While leading Australian brands such as Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings, and Officeworks have thrived, the sector will need to continue to innovate and keep up with new trends to continue on this positive trajectory in a post-pandemic society.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director, Brand Finance Australia

Bunnings nation’s strongest

Apart from calculating brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Certified by ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from around 100,000 respondents in over 35 countries and across nearly 30 sectors.

Retail brands have outperformed other sectors in terms of brand strength, with 4 of the top 5 strongest Australian brands belonging to this sector. Over the last year, retailers have strengthened their brands due to the pandemic, which allowed them to keep their doors open while much of the economy was closed and take up a greater share of voice in the advertising space.

Bunnings has leaped 8 spots to become Australia’s strongest brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.5 out of 100 (up 7 points) and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating. Over the last year, Bunnings has remained top-of-mind for Australian consumers by continuing to provide essential household and trade goods as well as spurring the country’s vaccination programme by setting up pop-up vaccination clinics in remote areas.

Bunnings’ efforts in responding to residential and trade demand along with aiding the vaccination rollout has not gone unnoticed by consumers, who ranked the retailer particularly highly in terms of quality, innovation, value for money, loyalty and customer service

Mark Crowe, Managing Director, Brand Finance Australia

Fellow retailers, Woolworths and Officeworks, have enjoyed a similar brand strength growth, rounding off the nation’s top 3 strongest brands in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

Woolworths’ brand strength has improved by +3.2 points to reach a BSI score of 86.9 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating. Over the last year, the brand has gained in favour with consumers, who consider Woolworths an industry-leading brand in terms of reconsideration, and quality.

Similarly, Officeworks has become a household name for most Australians looking for office supplies while working from home, improving its BSI score by +6.3 points to reach 86.5 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.

Coles is now the 4th strongest brand, up from 7th place in 2021. The brand’s 3-point BSI increase was mainly due to improved public perceptions for innovation and quality in its products, as well as high CSR scores. Coles continues to make steps towards becoming Australia’s most sustainable supermarket through its sustainability strategy.

With a BSI score of 84.4 out of 100 and AAA- brand strength rating, the NRMA has consolidated its top 10 ranking and is now the strongest brand within the Australian insurance industry, performing particularly well for its quality, reputation, and innovation.

As the strongest brand in the insurance industry, the NRMA is now also the highest ranked in the wider financial services sector moving ahead of the top four banks. NRMA remains an esteemed brand amongst consumers, who continue to praise its quality and reputation”

Mark Crowe, Managing Director, Brand Finance Australia

Another notable mention is, Qantas, which has re-entered the top 10 strongest Australian brands, jumping 5 spots to 7th position. The airline brand currently holds a BSI score of 82.4 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA- brand strength rating, indicating a strong recovery from the sector-wide standstill caused by the pandemic.

Qantas’ recovery is testament to the iconic brand’s enduring strength that fortified the business against the impact of the pandemic, but also ensured it was well placed to take advantage of the recovery in the airline sector.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director, Brand Finance Australia

Mixed results for banking brands

With an overall brand value growth of 7%, Australian banks appear to be on the slow road to recovery following an 11% loss in 2021. However, as traditional banking brands are increasingly challenged by smaller emerging brands pushing into digitalisation, negative customer perceptions of quality and innovation have driven down brand strength across the big 4.

Commonwealth Bank (brand value down 2% to AU$8.9 billion) has dropped from third to fifth most valuable brand in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking. The last year has also seen Commonwealth Bank lose its mantle as the nation’s strongest, dropping down to eighth position, but remaining the strongest banking brand.

Similarly, ANZ (brand value down 3% to AU$6.2 billion), nab (brand value up 6% to AU$5.9 billion), and Westpac (brand value up 7% to AU$5.2 billion) have suffered brand strength losses due to lower scores across customer perception metrics. As of January 2022, these banks are also embroiled in lawsuits pertaining to consumer credit insurance claims, driving down perceptions of their consideration, reputation, and value for money.

As Australian consumers are less inclined to choose the traditional banking industry, the big four brands have declined in strength, exacerbated by issues pertaining to misleading consumers over credit insurance. While the traditional banks remain a stalwart of the Australian banking industry in name, their brands will have to work hard on improving reputation to defend the competition from smaller emerging banks and nimble fin tech brands.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director, Brand Finance Australia

Bucking industry trends, Macquarie’s brand value has grown by 34% to reach AU$4.7 billion due to its strong revenue forecasts and plans to expand its brand portfolio. Macquarie also enjoyed a boost to its BSI score, which currently stands at 69.2 out of 100 with a corresponding AA- rating.

Telecoms face challenges

Following a devastating 16% cumulative brand value loss in 2021, Australian telecoms brands may be slowly turning the tide. This year, telecoms brands in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking have enjoyed an overall growth of 10%, with new entrant, Vodafone (brand value AU$409 million), also entering the ranking in 78th position. While this growth has been insufficient to return to pre-pandemic levels, the sector has benefitted from a more stable outlook and reduced perceptions of risk overall.

Australian telecoms brands, however, continue to struggle against declining brand strength scores caused by decreasing customer perceptions of value for money, consideration, and reputation. This has been partly sparked by questions surrounding telecoms brands’ selling practices, criticism of the disparity of the 5G rollout, and ongoing federal court proceedings against Telstra (brand value up 7% to AU$10.2 billion), Optus (brand value up 5% to AU$4.0 billion), and TPG Telecom (brand value up 63% to Au$475 million) over alleged false NBN maximum speeds.

Nevertheless, Telstra has held on to its spot as the second most valuable brand in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking, behind Woolworths.

Despite an overall increase in brand value, Australian telcos continue to face challenges that impact their brand strength, including a diminishing sense of trust amongst consumers. The challenge for larger telecoms brands is the need to make significant steps to improve customer relations and, subsequently, their reputations.

Mark Crowe, Managing Director, Brand Finance Australia

Flight Centre up 68%

Australian travel agency, Flight Centre is the third fastest-growing brand in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking, behind Seven (up 78% to AU$564 million) and Lindeman’s (up 75% to AU$896 million). At the beginning of 2021, Flight Centre was the fastest-falling brand in Australia, experiencing a 58% decrease in brand value due to disruptions to the global travel industry caused by the pandemic. This year, the brand has reclaimed much of its value, rising by 68% to AU$683 million as the leisure and tourism industry slowly makes steps towards recovery.

Flight Centre’s growth is largely attributable to a significant recovery in revenue and forecasts as well as a discount rate decrease due to a much more stable travel industry. The brand has also shown a significant 5-point improvement in its brand strength, with a BSI score of 70.9 out of 100 and corresponding AA rating. This has been largely driven by an improvement in CSR scores, as well as in metrics of monthly web visits, as consumers begin to form travel plans for the coming year.

A similar growth is observed for all leisure and tourism brands in the Brand Finance Australia 100 2022 ranking, including, The Star (up 62% to AU$662 million) and Tabcorp (up 24% to AU$949 million). The sector also includes 3 new entrants this year, Keno (brand value AU$1.2 billion), BetEasy (brand value AU$450 million), and Corporate Travel Management (brand value AU$252 million).