Woolworths tops Australian brand value rankings

14 December 2009

SYDNEY: Woolworths and Westpac are the two most valuable brands in Australia, indicating the relative resilience of the retail and financial sectors in the country during the financial crisis.

According to a new study from Brand Finance, Woolworths, the supermarket chain, has a net worth of A$6.38 billion ($5.84bn; €3.96bn; £3.58bn), up by 5.4% on an annual basis.

Tim Heberden, managing direction of Brand Finance, argued "the general secret with developing valuable brands is long-term commitment to investing in the brand and a long-term consistency with what the brand stands for and what it offers."

"With Woolworths, which has grown in the last couple of years, it's partly due to the fact groceries weren't affected by the downturn as much but also its growth in brand value and recognition."

Westpac was in second position in the rankings, on A$6.18bn, an improvement of 9% year-on-year, followed by the National Australia Bank, on A$6.12bn, down by 4%.

The Commonwealth Bank, on A$4.92bn, was in fourth, followed by Telstra, the telecoms giant, on A$4.56bn, which closed out the top five.

Wesfarmers climbed 42 places to sixth, a result of its takeover of the Coles Group, creating the biggest retail conglomerate in Australia, and boosting its value by 30.1%, to A$4.3bn.

ANZ, the bank, recorded a figure of A$3.90bn, with Foster's Group and Lion Nathan, the alcoholic drinks firms, on A$3.66bn and A$2.12bn respectively, separated by Coca-Cola Amatil, on A$3.61bn.

JB Hi Fi made its debut in the annual list, and while it only posted a total of A$357 million, marketing was argued to have played a key role in its success.

"Targeted marketing efforts towards the savvy younger generation has proved effective as the business has grown from ten to 123 stores in the last ten years, achieving compound annual revenue growth of over 40%," said Heberden.

"They've targeted well, that brand and that offer stand well and they've been aggressively expanding the number of stores. I suppose the brand is part of the overall growth strategy."

By contrast, the organisations experiencing substantial declines included Qantas, the air carrier, down 27.5%, to A$1.9bn, and Suncorp Metway, the financial services specialist, off by 21%, to A$1.3bn.

Tabcorp, the leisure and entertainment specialist, delivered a 36% decrease, to A$1.1bn, with Caltex, the oil and fuel company, sliding by 26%, to A$666m.

Data sourced from Smart Company; additional content by Warc staff