US Insights

Canada's Most Valuable Brands of 2019

Ross Tucker

Executive Editor Kantar US Insights

Brands 10.30.2019 / 12:00


Six banks brands account for nearly half of total brand value.

RBC and TD Bank took the top spots in the first BrandZTM Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands ranking – a new study by WPP and Kantar.

The strong performance of RBC and TD Bank, ranked no. 1 and 2 respectively, reflects the significant role that banks have in the Canadian economy, with six bank brands accounting for 46% of the total US$143.6 billion value of the Top 40.

The pair were valued significantly ahead of every other brand at $23 billion and $20.1 billion respectively. Telecoms brand Bell ranked third at $13.3 billion, making it the only other Canadian brand with a value more than $10 billion.

Canadians generally have a more positive opinion of their banking brands than consumers in other markets. This could be attributed to confidence in the strength of government regulation, and a reflection of the fact that no major banking bailout was required during the last financial crisis. Canadian banking brands also score well for being wise (indexing 110, compared with the average score of 100) and assertive (113).

In fact, Canadian banks also index above average for social responsibility (118), although brand trust remains slightly below average at 97. However, that’s still significantly higher than in other markets; the category scores just 90 in France and 91 in Belgium.

Top 9Chart

Telecoms is the second-largest sector in the ranking, accounting for 22% of total value. While the sector is highly valuable there is a lot of room to build brand equity. Potentially due to the high cost that Canadian consumers pay for their services in contrast to other markets, Canadians have a less positive view of brands in this sector, considering them to be untrustworthy (with a trust index score of 93), with poorer advertising (98) and a lower perceived purpose (97) than telecoms brands in other markets. Globally, we see that healthy brands consumers love are on average 70% more valuable than frail brands – creating a huge opportunity for an already valuable category.

BrandZ data show that Canadian consumers perceive even their most valuable brands to lack innovation. With 100 the average for all brands, Canada’s Top 30 indexes just above the average at 102, with only the Top 30 Spanish brands scoring lower (101), while the No.1 market for this measure, the U.S., is significantly higher at 116.

“Canada’s comparatively low innovation scores indicate there is a big opportunity for Canadian businesses, across all sectors, to grow their brand value by showcasing their innovation and clearly communicating how their products are better than those of their competitors,” said Scott Megginson, President of Kantar Canada. “Focusing on innovation and differentiation will boost value and consumers’ perceptions of what is ‘premium’, enabling businesses to command premium pricing and, in turn, make their brands more exportable.”

“Brand is becoming an increasingly important asset to the companies that own them, as the global market becomes ever more competitive with scores of agile and disruptive brands waiting in the wings. There is a huge opportunity for Canadian brands to improve their export performance by creating distinct communications, innovating more and improving the experience they offer,” said David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and Chairman of BrandZ.

Globalization presents opportunities for strong Canadian brands

Despite sharing a border with the world’s largest market and ranking as the third ‘Best Country’ in the world in WPP’s VMLY&R latest Best Countries ranking – an international study which identifies the strengths, weaknesses and changing perceptions of countries – Canadian brands tend to be happier at home.

On average, the Top 30 brands in the ranking get just 20% of their exposure (a combination of revenue, volumes sold and profitability) outside Canada. A dramatic comparison to France where the brands in the luxury dominated ranking get 75% of their exposure overseas.

“If we want to build bigger brands, then there is work to do,” Megginson continues. “Canadian businesses can be much bolder about exporting, given the huge scale of the U.S. market next door and the highly positive perceptions of Canada internationally. Creating brands with a strong identity and a meaningful difference from other players in the market is an important foundation for Canadian businesses that want to be a success outside the country, proven by internationally successful brands like Canada Goose and Lululemon.”

“We’re honoured to be named Canada’s most valuable brand in this inaugural list,” said Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “A company’s brand is one of the most enduring and defensible competitive advantages in this era, and we’ve been privileged to be at the centre of people’s lives for 150 years. Whether that’s helping clients take care of their families, realize their goals or grow successful businesses.”

 Other key trends highlighted in the BrandZ Canada Top 40 ranking include:

  • Having a strong purpose is key. Brands in the ranking consumers perceive as having a strong purpose are 78% more valuable than those that score poorly. Among the Top 30 brands in the Canada ranking the average score is 109, the tenth highest of the 13 market-specific rankings published by BrandZ.
  • Retail accounts for 7% of the value of the ranking. The 12 retail brands in the Top 40 score highly for being approachable and trustworthy, but less so for differentiation and being well known. On the latter the category averages a score of 114, significantly behind the 144 average for the rest of the ranking.
  • Being meaningfully different adds value to brands.Brands in the ranking that consumers see as bringing meaning to their lives in a way that is different are on average 46% more valuable than those with a low difference.Lululemon (No. 5, $7.6 billion) scores highest on perceived difference (178) followed byCanadian Tire (No. 22, $1.3 billion) with 134.

The BrandZ Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands report and ranking are available online here. The reports, rankings, charts, articles and more can also be accessed through the BrandZ™ app, which is free to download for Apple IOS and all Android devices from or by searching for BrandZ™ in the iTunes or Google Play app stores.

Source: Kantar

Editor's Notes

The valuation behind the BrandZ™ Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands was conducted by Kantar, which specializes in brand equity research and brand valuation. The methodology mirrors that used to calculate the annual BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, which is now in its fourteenth year. Commissioned by WPP and Kantar, the ranking combines rigorously analysed financial data from Bloomberg with the opinions of over 52,400 Canadian consumers. 

The BrandZ Top 40 is the most definitive and robust ranking of the Canadian brands available, and the brands ranked all meet these eligibility criteria:

  • They were originally created in Canada
  • They are owned by a publicly listed company traded on a stock exchange, or its financials are published in the public domain.

This approach has produced a carefully conceived ranking of brands in 11 consumer-facing categories, including cars, utilities, apparel, airlines, banks and entertainment.

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