LONDON: A new ranking of the UK’s top 50 most valuable brands is skewed towards telecoms, finance and utilities companies and does not include any tech businesses – a factor that is affecting the overall health of UK brands according to BrandZ.

Its latest ranking shows that 69% of the UK’s top 50 are in these three categories, compared to just 23% of the global top 50; the remaining 31% fall into the ‘other’ category, similar to the global figure of 30%. There is then a yawning gap when it comes to technology, with 47% of the global elite in this category but none of the UK top 50.

And when measured on BrandZ’s five metrics of brand health – purpose, innovation, communications, brand experience and love – only 22% of the UK’s top 50 brands merited the ‘healthy’ tag; most were simply ‘OK’ (64%) and a minority ‘frail’ (12%).

Those figures compared unfavourably with the global top 50: 50% healthy, 46% OK, 4% frail.

“We’ve been slow to adapt and adopt, particularly technology-related aspects for the benefit of consumers and brand experience,” Peter Walshe, BrandZ global strategy director at Kantar Millward Brown, told Marketing Week.

While the UK’s leading brands are well-known and highly regarded, both at home and abroad, they are not seen as being especially innovative by consumers, which not only puts them at potential risk from disruption but also slows value growth: the UK brands that consumers scored highest in innovation were almost twice as valuable as those with low scores. At the very top of the ranking, the UK’s Top 10 have grown at a fraction of the pace of the Global Top 10 over the past decade (66% vs 249%).

But with a future outside the EU looming, innovation is likely to become increasingly important for top UK brands if they are to maintain their export markets; currently the Top 50 earn 54% of their revenues outside the UK.

Some at the sharp end of innovation are optimistic. “We have been known historically as an innovative market, whether that’s in fashion, music or technology, and I wonder if we talk about it enough?” mused Margaret Jobling, Director of brand marketing at British Gas.

“Is there enough of a conversation about innovation or is all the focus on the big guys that are very global?”

Sourced from BrandZ, Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff