Vodafone has retained its position as the UK’s most valuable brand with a value of $36.8bn, nearly as much as second placed HSBC and third placed BT combined, despite a 4% decrease in brand value versus 2015. It’s the 11th year that the world’s second largest mobile phone company has topped the UK list.
Google, meanwhile, has reclaimed the top spot in the global top 100, knocking Apple off pole position after just one year.
Vodafone’s total revenue grew 2.3% to £41bn for the year ending 31 March 2016 as ‘Project Spring’, its £19bn investment launched in 2013 to improve its network, concluded.
Group chief executive, Vittorio Colao, said the investment “transformed the quality” of Vodafone’s technology, enhanced the customer experience and enabled the company to expand its enterprise services.
He added: “Looking forward, we will continue to invest in our customer excellence programmes in both mobile and converged services. I am confident we will sustain our positive momentum in the coming year, allowing us to maintain attractive returns for our shareholders.”
Combined value drops
The UK accounts for 3% of brand value with just five brands included in the top 100. This compares to the US, which accounts for 69% of the growth achieved by the top 100 and accounts for 51% of the brands listed.
Overall brand value for the top 10 UK brands has decreased by 8% since 2015. BT and personal care brand Dove are the only brands to see an increase in brand value. The telecoms company grew its value by 3%, moving up one place to rank third, while Unilever-owned Dove also grew by 3%, re-entering the top 10 in 9th place. Tea maker Lipton, meanwhile, is a new entry in 7th place.
BT rises again this year following a 17% boost in 2015 when it expanded its TV and mobile offer and enhanced its entertainment credentials.
Jane Bloomfield, head of sales and marketing at Millward Brown, says: “[BT] has worked a lot on what customers need and [come up with] great ideas to meet those needs. It’s about entertainment and sport and it has contributed to a nice success story for them.”
Tesco has also done better this year because although it has slipped by 5% it’s a small dip compared to the 37% drop it experienced in 2015. “[Tesco] has had a great recovery,” says Bloomfield. “If you look at the strategy, which it has talked about publically, it’s about customer service and we have begun to see a turnaround already.”
Oil and gas brands suffer
It’s not such good news for Shell and BP, however. The oil and gas companies have seen the biggest drop in value in the UK top 10. Shell’s value has fallen by 21% while BP has seen an 18% drop year-on-year, which perhaps isn’t surprising given the challenges in the oil and gas market and the ongoing effect on profits.
HSBC, meanwhile, drops by 16% but holds on to second place. Despite decreasing in value HSBC is still the highest ranked global bank overall as nine out of 10 other bank brands lost value too.
Oil and gas and banking brands saw the biggest decrease in value in the UK over the past year, dropping 18%, while the remainder of the brands together grew by 1%.
Burberry didn’t make the UK top 10 this year, but ranks 7th in the luxury market, dropping 20% owing to the slowdown in China.