Singapore’s growing economic clout get reflected by the fact that the combined value of the top 100 Singaporean brands increased 18%, from an evaluation of US$45.0 billion to US$53.3 billion.
The top ten most valuable Singapore brands of 2019 continues the game of musical chairs between the banking giants with DBS, UOB and OCBC Bank retaining the top three positions. This ranking gets determined by Brand Finance, the World’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy. Brand finance determines brand value by evaluating the brands’ future revenue, based on specific parameters like royalty rates. These get extracted by estimating the future sales projections for the brand and the royalty rate that would gets charged if the brand gets used.
Highlights of the report are:
- The top three brands account for a whopping 38% of the total brand value in Singapore.
- The top ten brands account for 64% of all brand value, reflecting askew development.
- DBS remains Singapore’s most valuable brand in the seventh year in a row.
- UOB nudges OCBC down to the third position while securing the second spot for itself.
- In a significant development, major telco brand Starhub gets left out of the top ten list after losing 13% brand value, struggling in the highly competitive telco space in Singapore.
- Starhub is replaced by transport company Comfort DelGro, which grew at a pace of 9%.
David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance, explains –
Many Singaporean brands are missing the big picture by misunderstanding their digital communications campaigns to be brand-building initiatives. Subsequently, unless Singaporean brands formulate to a strong brand agenda to consistently manage their brand strength, we will continue to observe large year on year variations in brand value, brand strength and brand rankings.
The most significant gain in brand value growth in the top ten was for Great Eastern (83%), UOB (37%), and DBS (34%). One of the factors of this growth is that they strategically located near the rapidly developing economies of Asia.
Samir Dixit, managing director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific, exhorts Singapore brands to be less focused on communications, and instead channelize the digital space to be more brand-driven, to increase long-term brand value and strength.
DBS (Development Bank of Singapore)
Established by the government of Singapore in 1968, today, DBS is the largest bank in Southeast Asia and has over 100 branches across Singapore. It enjoys a triple-A brand rating for its array of customer-led corporate and personal banking products and services. These include consumer banking, treasury and capital markets services, asset management, brokerage services, and equity and debt financing.
It has retained top position in the list of Singapore’s most valuable brands, for the 7th year in succession, with a brand value of around US$9.03 bn. The acquisition of ANZ exponentially increased its brand value by around US $400 Mn. DBS is likely to continue as a front runner in the brand’s race unless competitors UOB or OCBC banks demonstrate a coup through an acquisition or merger.
The global financial publication Euromoney also named DBS as the World’s Best Bank. This iconic banking institution also walked away with the titles of Global Finance’s Best Bank in the World, and The Banker’s Bank of the Year – Global last year.
UOB (United Overseas Bank)
This iconic bank was established in Singapore in 1935, as the United Chinese Bank, to be renamed in 1965 as the United Overseas Bank when Singapore became independent. It is the third-largest bank in Southeast Asia, with more than 500 offices across 19 countries. The UOB brand offers a broad portfolio of not only commercial and personal banking products and services but also extends asset management and insurance-related services. UOB also enjoys a triple-A brand rating.
Evaluated at about $5.66 Bn, this bank has replaced OCBC in second place through stable growth. As Samir Dixit explains, UOB had an organic growth of revenues as opposed to the instant growth DBS and OCBC have gained through acquisitions.
According to Gan Ai Im, UOB’s head of group brand, the gain in the bank’s brand value is thanks to its “value-based approach” in expanding the business and laying strong foundations for future growth.
OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation)
Singapore’s oldest bank, OCBC, is a result of the merger between the Chinese Commercial Bank, the Ho Hong Bank, and the Oversea Chinese Bank in 1932. OCBC stands as the second-largest Bank in Southeast Asia (after DBS) and has operations spread across 18 countries.
Third on the list with an evaluation of about US $5.65 bn. OCBC Bank has been an integral part of Singapore’s development since the 1930s. OCBC was also awarded World’s Best Bank (Asia-Pacific) in 2019 by Global Finance Magazine.
The bank has managed to stay competitive with a contemporary branding roadmap. OCBC flagged off its Brand Promise campaign in 2018 with a tagline ‘Simply Spot On.’ It reinforces OCBC Bank’s commitment to customer focus by providing bespoke solutions. The third campaign was a join take by OCBC Bank and the Govt of Singapore, with a theme of being Unstoppable. The integrated marketing campaigns that included humorous videos were instrumental in OCBC’s brand expansions in the last two years as they covered the digital, social, outdoor, and print space.
Koh Ching Ching, OCBC Bank’s head of group brand and communications, stated –
A strong brand is more important than ever, in today’s World of intensifying competition and heightened customer expectations. The OCBC Bank brand reflects our core values and our commitment to customers.
Singtel (Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.)
Singapore’s leading Telco brand, Singtel, offers operations and provision of telecommunications systems and services. Its portfolio ranges across mobile voice, messaging, international roaming, mobile broadband, and related entertainment and information services. With a revenue of around, it is the largest mobile network operator in Singapore.
Singtel is among the five brands to boast of a triple-A brand ranking. It also placed fourth in a list of 200 best-loved brands of Singapore, undertaken by the Business Superbrands, and was one of only three Singapore based brands to be featured. The ranking based on critical factors like technology-based growth.
Singtel’s aggressive expansion trajectory includes acquisitions outside Singapore, including 100 percent ownership of Australian telco Optus, and 35% in Indian telco Bharti Airtel.
Singtel, as a company, has always focused on delivering the best customer experience. Along with the emphasis on developing innovative digital solutions, it ensures unchartered growth for this network provider. Solutions like the all-digital mobile plan, GOMO, address the need of millennials for the tremendous volume of data, with the ease of online management. AI channels harness to provide seamless customer service channels like 24-7 self-help kiosks. Singtel has also kept its promise to provide superior connectivity, and continually top IMDA’s quality of service rating with 99% outdoor coverage. In the wings are Singapore’s first 5G pilot network, in collaboration with Optus.
Small wonder then, that Singtel has bagged a range of titles including, World Communication Awards 2019, Best Enterprise Service – Singtel Liquid Infrastructure, and The Broadband Pioneer – Singtel Intelligent Fibre Broadband. Significantly, Singtel placed first for ‘Excellence in Marketing Transformation’ at the Marketing Excellence Awards 2019, an honor that may explain its top spot in the competitive Singapore telco industry.
Singapore based Wilmar is in the business of processing and merchandising palm and lauric, oils as well as edible oils, along with manufacturing of various consumer products. The leading agribusiness group currently valued at $346.2 bn. The businesses include:
- Tropical oils
- Oilseeds and grains
This Fortune Global 500 company, is not only fifth on the list of Top Ten Valuable Brands of Singapore but is also ranked 3rd as World’s Most Admired Company in the Food Production vertical by Fortune magazine. It has consistently scored high on the lists of Top 100 Singapore Brands (Brand Finance) and Forbes Global 2000 – World’s Biggest Public Companies.
With activities sweeping across Asia and Africa, The Wilmar Group’s advantage lies in its integrated business model that spans along the entire supply chain of its agricultural commodity products. The value chain extends from the actual cultivation of raw materials and processing to the manufacturing in its 500+ plants to its distribution network spread across 50 countries, through its fleet of carriers. It enables Wilmar to extract maximum quality and cost control along the value chain, which gets passed down to its consumers.
Singapore’s value growth is top-heavy and skewed in favor of banking enterprises. While the development trajectory has been impressive, the brands need to drive brand development as a focus area and be digitally articulate to penetrate global markets and stay competitive.