Telecom operators STC & Etisalat rank top of the brands

STC Etisalat

Telecom operators STC and Etisalat have respectively topped a ranking of the Saudi Arabian and Emirati brands, according to a newly released report by WPP, one of the world’s biggest advertising company.

The report, which was done by WPP’s data management division Kantar, highlighted that the telecommunications sector contributed to 70 percent, $35 billion, of the combined brand value of the $50bn of the entire top 30 firms.

“There are huge opportunities in the region for brands that can adapt to new and dynamic markets and meet fast-changing consumer needs,” said David Roth, Chief Executive of WPP EMEA and Asia.

The ranking includes consumer-facing brands from across a range of categories, from food to energy, which reflect the changing lifestyles and attitudes within the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The brands featured in the new BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable Emirati and Saudi Brands ranking 2020 are based on the unique and objective BrandZ brand valuation methodology that combines extensive and on-going consumer insights with rigorous financial analysis. For this study, over 12,000 consumers were interviewed about 343 brands across 19 categories.

Saudi telecom operator, STC is the most valuable brand, worth $9.7 billion, topping the ranking due to its scale and strength, as well as bold new communications initiatives and a strong sense of brand purpose. As well as providing telecom services, it has made efforts to promote opportunities for women, young people, and those with disabilities.

In parallel, Etisalat ($5.2 billion) is the second most valuable brand. The telecom operator focuses on how technology enriches people’s lives, communicated through its “Together Matters” tagline and Smiles loyalty scheme.

Other brands in the top 10 include Saudi Arabian dairy company Almarai ($2.8bn), National Commercial Bank ($2bn), retailer Jarir Bookstore ($1.9bn), UAE developer Emaar Properties ($1.8bn) and telecoms provider Mobily ($1.7bn).

“We see brands that have a long history in the region, as well as new and upcoming brands that are influencing the way we live, shop, eat and travel,” said Amol Ghate, CEO Middle East, Insights Division, Kantar.

The BrandZ strong brand portfolios have consistently outperformed the market, including the S&P 500 and MSCI World Index. This validates the role of marketing and brand-building investment to support recovery at a critical time for businesses.