Lululemon stands out on ranking of most-valuable Canadian brands

While RBC and TD once again topped BrandZ's annual ranking, the apparel retailer's value jumped 60% since last year.

Lululemon-Chicago

Canada’s financial institutions once again dominated the BrandZ ranking of the country’s most valuable brands, with RBC and TD taking the top spots for the second year in a row.

However, it’s apparel retailer Lululemon that emerged as the “biggest success story” of the top-forty ranking – jumping into the #4 spot from #5 last year – following a standout year that saw its value grow by 60% to US$12.1 billion, according to WPP and research firm Kantar, which conducted the annual study.

Bell, the country’s third-most valuable brand, saw its value grow by 2% to US$13.6 billion, making it, and Lululemon, the only companies in the top ten to see their value increase.

The remaining top ten brands, whose value dropped 13% or more, include Scotiabank (#5, down from #4 in 2019), Tim Hortons (#7, down from #6),  Rogers (remained in #8), BMO (#9, down from #7) and CIBC (remained in #10). Telus, whose value only fell 1%, jumped into #6 from the #9 spot last year. (The complete list of top 40 brands is included below.)

The total value of the top forty most-valuable brands slipped by 6% “in the face of tough economic conditions caused by the lockdown,” though the country fared better than certain European countries with similarly sized economies, such as Spain and Italy.

The distribution of brand value in Canada “remains highly skewed,” according to the research, with RBC (worth US$21.7 billion) and TD ($17.2 billion) accounting for 29% of the total value. Banks make the largest contribution to the ranking’s overall brand value, with a 42% share, followed by telecom providers at 23%.

Over the last year, the Vancouver-based Lululemon – now the world’s third-largest apparel brand by sales – benefited from the lockdown “by being e-commerce ready at a time when being at home gave people more time to focus on their wellbeing,” according to BrandZ. It also grew “through a successful strategic expansion into the male segment.”

Last year, the brand ranked as the second-highest “riser” globally (behind only Instagram), with its year-over-year value jumping 77% to $6.9 billion. This year, it ranked third on the global list (behind Chinese beverage alcohol brand Moutai and Instagram), according to results released in June. Once again, Lululemon was the only Canadian company represented on the global list of top 20 brands with the biggest increase in value.

Whereas Canada’s top 40 brands continue to struggle overseas – with only 28% of their value coming from “overseas contribution” – Lululemon was the exception. Many brands struggled to drive perception of difference among global consumers. Lululemon, however, generated 86% of its value from overseas exposure. It also topped the list of brands considered to be the “most innovative” and “most different” in the eyes of consumers.

The country-specific rankings of BrandZ, a global brand equity study conducted by WPP and Kantar (and now its in its fifteenth year), is based on an analysis of Bloomberg financial data and the opinions of more than 56,000 Canadian consumers, covering 656 brands across 49 categories. 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), and the valuable process combines financial value and brand contribution (i.e. the proportion of the financial value that is directly driven by a brand’s equity).

Kantar Top 40 Most Valuable Brands

Source: BrandZ Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands 2020