The three local banks have been performing well for several years and again in 2020, we see no other contenders being able to challenge the top three spots and it’s also unlikely that DBS, with US$ 8.4 billion brand value, will be dethroned from the top of the Brand Finance Top 100 Most Valuable Singapore Brands table for a long while OCBC and UOB continues to be jostling each other against for the 2nd and 3rd position ranking.
OCBC managed to climb back to the second position this year with a brand value of US$ 4.8 billion, while UOB continues to stay very closely behind with a brand value of US$ 4.7 billion.
The 3 banks have contributed 37% of the total brand value in Singapore, down marginally from 38% last year.
The brand strength, measured by Brand Strength Index (BSI), shows that the average BSI of the Top 100 brands has further reduced again from 62.4 last year to 61.5 this year. Most brands however have remained stagnant in terms of their brand strength and while they may be doing well locally, they have been losing out to some of the key competitors in the region as they lack competitiveness outside of Singapore market.
Singtel replaces Changi Airport to become the strongest brand in 2020 and dominate the brand strength ranking with a score of 86. Changi Airport slide with a small drop in score but still continues to retain its triple-A brand rating with DBS, making them the only 3 brands with the triple-A brand rating while OCBC and UOB dropped a level down from their triple-A brand rating this year.
Unless the companies have a strong brand agenda and are managing the strength of their brand and the brand value in a concentrated manner, we will continue to see the large year on year variations in brand value, brand strength and brand rankings. The big problem is, the brand is left to a few people in the organisation to manage and is never a serious agenda for the board. This is clearly evident from the fact that most of the top management or the boards have no Brand KPI for themselves or their firms.
Samir Dixit, Managing Director, Brand Finance Asia Pacific
ComfortDelGro made its way into the top 10 last year for the first time and continues to stay on the top 10 with a very close brush with a new brand. Wilmar sees a huge drop in brand value and ranking although still maintaining its strong foothold on the top 10 position while Capitaland manage to perform well this year and squeezed its way into the top 10 position. Singtel, Singapore Airlines and Capitaland are the only 3 brands in the top 10 who shows a brand value increase while the remaining 7 brands all shows a declined in brand value.
NTUC Income finished at 11th place, coming in as a new brand this year with a value of US$ 995 million, very close to the ComfortDelGro by a very small difference of 0.4%.
This year also sees many other new brand entrants such as earlier well mentioned performance brand NTUC Income and JTC, SP Group, Thomson Medical, Soup Restaurant and Achieva.
Most Singapore brands are typically very communications focussed and misunderstand their campaigns (mostly digital these days) to be brand building initiative and that’s where they miss the big picture about the brand.Samir Dixit, Managing Director, Brand Finance Asia Pacific
Samir Dixit continues to challenge the Singapore companies to be more brand-driven and not sales or offers-driven. This destroys the long-term value and the strength of the brand. Brand has to be a strategic agenda for the senior management and boards and must be managed like any other business asset and not just a legal trademark.
Financial companies continue to make up 37% of the top 100 value. As Singapore further develops, we expect consolidation in the banking sector, so it will be interesting to see which brands remain. Banks who can digitalise and remain relevant will be the ones who will win.
While the Singaporean brands have grown, they will likely face strong headwinds ahead as they are losing out to some of the other brands in the region in terms of brand competitiveness and value growth. It is the brand strength for most brands that still remains a concern and also a significant risk that the brands must recognise and work towards mitigating it.Samir Dixit, Manging Director, Brand Finance Asia Pacific
Samir Dixit further commented that the rankings still remains very top heavy raising further concern as the top 10 contributing to over 62% of the total brand value. We would like to see more diverse mix at the top and more significant value increase at the bottom which means other brands must start focussing on their value and brand strength.