RBC, TD top ranking of most valuable Canadian brands

Lululemon, meanwhile, climbed to number two on the global list of brands with the fastest-growing value released in June.

Canadian financial institutions have topped the inaugural BrandZ ranking of the country’s most valuable brands, with RBC and TD each valued at more than USD $20 billion.

Meanwhile, apparel retailer Lululemon was the second-highest “riser” globally (behind only Instagram) with its year-over-year value jumping 77% to $6.9 billion, according to a global Brandz list released in June. The company – Canada’s only representation on the global list of top 20 brands with the biggest increase in value – ranked number five among all brands on the Canadian ranking, with its value having since increased to $7.6 billion.

The country-specific rankings of BrandZ, a global brand equity study conducted by WPP research firm Kantar, is based on an analysis of Bloomberg financial data and the opinions of more than 52,400 Canadian consumers. The study takes into account only brands that were originally created in Canada and are owned by a publicly listed company (or those with public financials).

According to BrandZ, the placement of RBC and TD on the ranking reflects the “significant role that banks have in the Canadian economy.” Overall, six bank brands accounted for 46% of the total US$143.6 billion value of the top 40 brands on the ranking.

The only other brand with value in the double-digital billions was Bell, which ranked third at US$13.3 billion. Filling out the top five were Scotiabank (at $9.3 billion) and Lululemon ($7.6 billion).

The research found that Canadians generally have a more positive opinion of their banking brands than consumers in other markets, as a result of confidence in the strength of government regulation and the fact that no major player required a bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.

Canadian banks also scored well for being perceived as “wise” (indexing at 110, based on an average of 100) and “assertive” (113).  They also indexed above average for social responsibility (118), while scoring less high on brand trust (97).

In telecommunications, the second-largest sector in the ranking (accounting for 22% of total value), Kantar notes there’s “a lot of room to build brand equity.” Canadians have a less positive view of brands in this sector than in other markets, with below-average scores on trust (93), advertising (98) and perceived purpose (97). Brands across categories in the ranking that are perceived as having a strong purpose are 78% more valuable than those that do not.

Kantar also found that “being meaningfully different adds value to brands.” The companies perceived as being highly differentiated are on average 46% more valuable than those that are not. On the Canadian ranking, Lululemon scored highest for perceived difference (178), followed by Canadian Tire (134), which ranked 22 overall.

In addition to the Canadian-specific survey, BrandZ includes a global ranking of the top 100 most valuable global brands. The only two Canadian brands that made that ranking were RBC, which dropped five spots from last year to number 57, and TD, which slipped to number 72.

Tim Hortons, valued at $6,7 billion, was the only Canadian (and non-American) brand to crack the top ten ranking of global QSRs released in June. It ranked number 8 in the category this year, after coming in at number 7 in 2018, with its value dropping 3%.

The Top 10 Most Valuable Canadian Brands 2019 (in US millions)

1. RBC ($23,024)
2. TD Bank ($20,104)
3. Bell ($13,318)
4. Scotiabank ($9,346)
5. Lululemon ($7,578)
6. Tim Hortons ($6,757)
7. Bank of Montreal ($6,754)
8. Rogers ($6,385)
9. Telus ($5,996)
10. CIBC ($4,948)

Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Brandz global ranking was released in June.