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Woolworths no longer Australia’s most valuable brand as Telstra surges to take #1 spot

TelstraThe day after Woolworths shocked the advertising industry by appointing its fourth ad agency in five years the brand has taken another hit – losing its position as Australia’s most valuable brand.

The Brand Finance annual brand valuation study revealed Woolworths has been overtaken by Telstra as the most valuable brand in the country, with its value dropping 14% since last year.

Telstra’s value surged 23% on the back of a cohesive customer advocacy strategy, even through its  revenues increased just 3.6% in the same time.

Mark Crowe, Brand Finance Australia managing director, said Woolworths lost its top spot in the rankings through a combination of its own internal issues and increased competition from rivals.

AMI CEO Mark Crowe

Mark Crowe says Telstra’s triumph was predicted

Woolworths had held the top spot in the rankings since 2009, but in 2015 Brand Finance predicted it was in danger of losing its place.

“With sales expecting to slow at faster rates than rivals, the biggest challenge to Woolworths and other supermarket operators is coming from the German discount chain, Aldi.

“This threat is exacerbated by weak brand perceptions that has resulted in a downgrade in Woolworths’ brand rating,” said Crowe.

“In terms of its trend line, Woolworths has been in decline since 2009.”

Woolworths’ main rival, Coles, also had a tough year, dropping from sixth to seventh on the list and suffering an even steeper drop in brand value, down 17%.

“As flagged in last year’s result, Telstra is now Australia’s number one brand, despite increasing competition – especially in the mobile division. It is testimony to Telstra’s continued brand strength which has driven a 23% increase in value.”

Telstra has also climbed 35 places on the global top 5oo list to 110.

Banks dominated the top 10, with all four major banks making an appearance.

ANZ and Commonwealth Bank swapped third and fourth positions as ANZ strengthened its offering, while Westpac jumped to fifth from seventh, and NAB improved from eighth to sixth.

Globally, the list of the world’s most valuable brands was unchanged, topped by Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon and Microsoft.

However, Brand Finance’s assessment of the world’s most powerful brands based on factors such as familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment and staff satisfaction, took on a totally different look.

Walt Disney led the way with a brand index score out of 100 of 923, equalling Lego and L’Oreal.

Commercial services consultancies PWC and McKinsey followed up, with Nike in sixth position.

Perhaps inevitably Volkswagen emerged as one of the world’s worst performing brands, dropping from 17 to 56 in the global rankings.

Simon Canning

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