As ecomm booms, Shopify doubles in brand value

But the ecommerce giant is still far from breaking Brand Finance's top ten list of most valuable Canadian brands.


The financial services sector continues to dominate Brand Finance Canada’s list of most-valuable brands, with TD, RBC, BMO and Scotiabank taking the top four spots on the 2021 ranking.

But the biggest mover on Brand Finance’s list – which looks at brand value as being the “economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market” – was Shopify, having grown faster than any other brand (up 113% year-over-year), thanks to record sales through its platform and the pandemic’s acceleration of ecommerce growth.

The annual study revealed the destabilizing impacts of the pandemic, with the banking sector losing 52% in overall value since last year, and tech brands reaping average gains of 56%. Other sectors experiencing pandemic pains include aviation, insurance and energy.

In financial services, TD maintains its lead as the most-valuable Canadian brand after reclaiming the title from RBC last year. TD’s value dropped 1% to $21 billion, while RBC’s inched upward 2% to $20.8 billion. Meanwhile, BMO fell 4% to $11.9 billion, but overtook Scotiabank, which dropped 11% to $11.9 billion. Together, financial services had a cumulative $93.6 billion in brand value, accounting for roughly 35% of the ranking’s overall value.

Brand Finance 2021

Having more than doubled in value to $828 million, ecommerce giant Shopify jumped 38 spots, landing in sixtieth overall, and Brand Finance expects it to crack the top-25 rank within the next three years. Meanwhile, Constellation Software (up 43% to $3.5 billion) is the most valuable Canadian tech brand.

In retail, Alimentation Couche-Tard’s Circle K banner remains the country’s most valuable retail brand, with year-over-year growth of 9% and a brand value of $7.9 billion that has helped it re-enter the top-ten list.

The aviation sector has suffered tremendously as a result of the pandemic, dealing a blow to the country’s airlines. Air Canada fell 42% to $2.9 billion and WestJet dropped 39% to $594 million, propelling them downward into the 27 and 73 spots, respectively. This comes after several years of record growth at the airlines.

Insurance brands have also faced difficulties as a result of the crisis. Seven insurance brands feature in the top 100, comprising 11% of the ranking’s overall value, with Canada Life (valued at $9.4 billion) taking the seventh spot overall following a dip of 8% as a result of COVID-related factors, such as higher risk and lower long-term growth prospects, according to Brand Finance.

But no Canadian insurance company made the top ten list of strongest brands. Brand Finance measures brand strength as “the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.”

Sun Life, the nation’s strongest insurance brand, fell due to weaker consumer scores for familiarity, recommendation, and loyalty.

Brand Finance’s ranking is based on a compilation of the country’s strongest brands, based on factors that create brand loyalty and market share, perceptions of the brand among different stakeholder groups and quantitative measures representing the success of the brand in achieving a price and volume premium.