Verizon is the most valuable telecoms brand of 2022, according to the latest report by leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance. With its brand value increasing marginally by 1% to US$69.6 billion, Verizon retains its position at the top of the telecoms league table.
Every year, Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 150 most valuable and strongest telecoms brands are included in a dedicated industry ranking – the Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2022.
Verizon is facing significant brand challenges with the deployment of 5G infrastructure services creating concerns about the potential impact on aircraft. However, the American telecoms operator has overcome the technical issues and is growing its brand in using wireless technology to deliver high-speed internet services into homes. The fixed point-to-point services aim to provide fast internet speeds to compete with wired competitors. As a relatively new channel to provide home internet services, Verizon’s fixed wireless service is competing with long-established home internet services delivered over physical wires.
Verizon remains the world’s most valuable telecoms brand because customers know and understand what the brand means. It started life as one of the Baby Bells and has grown up to become the world’s leading telecommunications brand as the global market leader.David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance
Deutsche Telekom rises to second place
Meanwhile, just behind Verizon, Deutsche Telekom (brand value up 18% to US$60.2 billion) has improved to become the second-most valuable telecoms brand in the world, overtaking AT&T (brand value down 8% to US$47 billion). Deutsche Telekom is moving to consolidate its brands globally by introducing a new logo which has the potential to unify its “T” branding across both its T Mobile and Deutsche Telekom divisions globally. Initially, the letter “T” will dominate digital channels and sponsorships, with the eventual deployment of “T” collateral into physical buildings and retail outlets.
Since 2020, Deutsche Telekom’s brand value has gone up by over 50% in total. Successful business performance and high customer growth, especially in the United States, are the main contributors to this significant increase. In addition, the Group again scored points through sustained investments in network quality, digital technologies, and customer service. In addition to being the second-most valuable brand globally in telecoms, Deutsche Telekom is also the second-most valuable brand in Europe amongst all industry sectors, only marginally behind Mercedes-Benz amongst all European brands.
The unification of Deutsche Telekom’s branding internationally offers an opportunity to strengthen the brand amongst different consumer groups. This will allow the T brand to spread across various jurisdictions and benefit from globalized efficiencies – especially as it transitions from a challenger-brand in the US to become an established market leader as it is in Germany and some other European jurisdictions.David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance
China Telecom Enters Top 10
Elsewhere, China Telecom (brand value up 38% to US$18.4 billion) improved its ranking to become the 10th most valuable telecoms brand in the world. The brand added almost 11.5 million net subscribers and now serves 362 million users, creating significant brand value based on forecast future growth as modern telecoms services spread throughout China.
Iliad Italia is telecommunication’s fastest-growing brand
A smaller brand, but growing rapidly, is Iliad Italia (brand value up 109% to $US447 million) which is this year’s fastest growing brand in the Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2022 league table.
Iliad’s growth is being driven by its ability to create a loyal base through a great value-for-money offer, accessible customer service, and its honest and open attitude. Since launching in mid-2018, service revenues are growing quickly and the brand now has 10% market share in the Italian mobile market. Iliad serves more than 8 million subscribers, serviced by 8,500 retail sites, and plans to expand to up to 12,500 sites by the end of 2023. Having created a loyal customer base, they are now launching their fixed offer which builds a base for a strong outlook going forward. Iliad’s recent moves, such as the proposed takeover of Vodafone Italian business, speaks to the ambition of the player to become a real threat for the big three in Italy.
Through analysis on research of all telecom brands in Europe, Brand Finance determined that there are four key underlying dimensions characterizing different brands:
The underlying mechanics of telecom service delivery through service and coverage still play a major role, but agile and innovative brands are gaining power in generating consideration in the market. Iliad is creating strong brand advocates who deeply “love” their brand because of the perceived authenticity of the brand and its strength on these two dimensions (agility and innovation). Iliad is growing their brand value quickly without alienating customers, with only 7% of respondents in the market saying they did not like the brand against a sector average of 17%. Similarly, 51% of respondents liked the Iliad brand comparted to a sector average in Italy of 28%.
The second fastest growing telecoms brand in the rankings is Moov (brand value up 104% to US$453 million) which is another new entrant to Telecoms 150 2022 rankings and part of e&, formerly known as the Etisalat group. This surge in brand value is correlated with the rebranding of its eleven subsidiaries in Africa as Moov Africa at the beginning of last year to benefit from broader synergies from being part of e&.
As a beneficiary of the broader e& brand portfolio, Moov is delivering significant expertise into relatively small markets using the expertise of global leaders associated with e& in the UAE. This expert brand leadership enables the Moov brand to grow quickly.
Etisalat is world’s strongest telecoms brand
In addition to 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 over 100,000 respondents in more than 35 countries and across nearly 30 sectors.
Etisalat (brand value up 18% to US$10.1 billion) is the world’s strongest telecoms brand, and the strongest brand in the Middle East & Africa across all industry sectors with a brand strength score of 89.2 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA rating. Expo 2020 offered Etisalat the platform to demonstrate itself as a strategic enabler of the UAE's digital transformation. Etisalat’s focus on enhancing customer experience and living the ethos of “Together Matters” helped the brand to increase its BSI score by 1.8 points, breaking into the top 20 strongest brands globally, claiming 18th place.
Etisalat has subsequently released a new brand strategy related to the launch of broader group identity under the name e&. The group now faces the challenge of transferring equity to the new brand over the course of 2022.
Etisalat’s brand strength is driven by product innovation and delivering on customer needs. Delivering the fastest mobile network in the world is a massive achievement by Etisalat, and their core stakeholders recognize the brand’s ability to deliver impressive performance.David Haigh, Chairman & CEO of Brand Finance
South Africa’s MTN (brand value up 49% to US$4 billion) telecoms brand is achieving a significant improvement in brand strength, improving from the 28th strongest telecoms brand in the world to become the 6th strongest. MTN is improving its brand equity as users continued to shift online in response to the pandemic. Outside of Nigeria (where MTN Nigeria endures significant regulatory challenges to growing its user base) the MTN Group increased the number of subscribers by over 3 million users.
Looking ahead, MTN is in the process of seeking to rebrand itself from a telecoms company into a broader technology brand. This coincides with a refreshed logo, new slogan, and coincides with its 25th year of operation as it seeks to refocus operations on Africa.