Will Equinor match Statoil’s success? Norway’s most valuable brands revealed
- Statoil has dominated Norway’s brand landscape for years. Will Equinor automatically take its place as the nation’s most valuable and strongest brand?
- Telenor retains second place despite 5% drop in brand value
- Hydro is Norway’s fastest-growing brand this year, up 53% from 2017
At the start of 2018 Statoil was Norway’s most valuable and strongest brand with a value of NOK65.4 billion and an elite AAA brand rating, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Statoil enjoyed a strong year of brand value growth due to higher global oil prices leading to increased revenue forecasts, and relatively strong workplace safety results over the last year.
Subsequently, the company changed names, to reflect its new brand strategy as a broad energy company, and not merely an oil company. The name change is just one demonstration of its new brand focus, with the increasing diversification of Equinor towards a low carbon future. This includes plans to develop long-term value on the Norwegian continental shelf and growing alternative energy sources. Last year, the company acquired its first major solar energy development (in Brazil) and now operates three offshore wind farms.
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands through the Brand Strength Index (BSI) – a balanced scorecard of factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.
According to these criteria, Statoil was also Norway’s strongest brand with a high score of 85.4 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand rating. The brand strength that Statoil has accumulated over the years, will be particularly important following the rebranding, especially in a year of geopolitical instability, with the possibility of changing OPEC policies and the increasing development of North American shale oil resources.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:
“Name is an important part of brand, but it is not everything. Statoil became Norway’s most valuable and strongest brand because it was recognised as a trusted partner, delivering on its promise. Built upon the solid foundations of its oil business, the company now faces a challenge of transferring that equity to a new brand, encompassing a more diversified business portfolio. If the new brand is implemented well, it will help Equinor achieve long-term success, even if the rebranding process itself causes some initial erosion of the brand’s strength and value.”
Norway’s 10 Most Valuable Brands:
Telenor retains second place
In second place, Telenor (brand value down 5% to NOK54.5 billion) remained well ahead of third-ranked DNB (brand value up 3% to NOK26.9 billion). Telenor’s 2017 was a year of transformation as it realigned its corporate brand strategy to concentrate on the increasingly digital-focused demands of its customers. This was evident in Telenor’s customers using the company’s in-bound call centres 20% less than a year earlier, as customers now expect to obtain key information and make account changes online.
DNB, as Norway’s largest financial services group, grew its brand value modestly over the last year during a similar digital transformation. The company slightly improved its return on equity from 10.1% in 2016 to 10.8% last year as the Norwegian economy rebounded from the previous slump in oil prices. The brand benefited from strength across the broader economy, and DNB has a clear strategic plan to provide more services online.
Hydro is Norway’s fastest-growing brand
Hydro (brand value up 53% to NOK4.8 billion) is the fastest-growing brand in the Brand Finance Norway 10 league table. The acquisition of Extruded Solutions has enabled the brand to provide a vertically integrated aluminium supply chain, creating and extracting more value than by simply providing raw metal. Hydro also launched its new Hydro 75R product, which guarantees at least 75 percent recycled content reducing environmental impact – a key contribution to building a socially responsible brand in modern Norway.
Another brand to grow quickly this year is Norwegian (brand value up 14% to NOK7.8 billion). As recently as 2012, the airline operated only 68 aircraft but will grow its capabilities to almost 200 by the end of 2019. The brand has continued to grow despite unforeseen difficulties with Rolls-Royce components that have beset many airlines this year. Rapidly expanding into low- cost long-haul flying, the air carrier is also facing significant financial challenges in a world of increased oil and fuel prices.