Written on the 26 March 2015 by Nick Nichols


SUNCORP has made the grade as Queensland's most valuable brand in 2015, although perennial battler Billabong International has been singled out as the star performer for the state.

Brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance says Suncorp's brand has increased in value by 21 per cent to $2.5 billion over the past year.

"However, this year's real success story is Billabong, which has finally managed to arrest its near-terminal decline," says Brand Finance in its latest report.

"In 2011, when Brand Finance began to track Billabong, brand value stood at $571 million but fell in every subsequent year, to $568 million in 2012, $391 million in 2013 and $241 million in 2014 when the brand's very existencehung in the balance.

"However, CEO Neil Fiske's rescue strategy appears to be working - this year brand value has increased 50 per cent to $360 million. Plans to pursue a consolidated, one-brand strategy by rebranding acquisitions such as Surfection will further build the value of the core brand."

Brand Finance estimates the top 100 brands across Australia are worth $128 billion in 2015, up 8.6 per cent on last year.

Woolworths remains Australia's most valuable brand, at $12.1 billion, although this is down 10 per cent from 2014. Telstra is snapping at the heels of the retail giant and likely to overtake Woolworths next year, it says.

"Over-expansion into slow-growing categories such as home improvement explains some of the decline, but the key factor has been the increasingly intense competition in the retail sector," says Brand Finance.

"Aldi's $700 million investment in WA and SA is piling on further pressure. Victoria-based Coles' brand has been affected too - growth is static, brand value remains at $7.1 billion."

Telstra's brand value has jumped 14 per cent to $10.6 billion as it expands it 4G network coverage and extends its reach to China and California through the Pacnet acquisition.

"Telstra's prioritisation of customer advocacy is a critical component to maintaining a competitive edge and further increasing its brand strength," says Brand Finance managing director Mark Crowe.

"If successful, Telstra will be a strong challenger for the number one Australian brand."

From a state perspective, Queensland ranks fourth in the brand stakes with seven of the top 100 brands worth $5.5 billion domiciled in the state, behind WA with nine companies worth $6.4 billion.

Victoria holds the most brand value, with 36 companies worth $60.4 billion, although NSW is closing the gap with 45 companies worth $54.2 billion. Last year, NSW trailed by $9 billion.


1. Woolworths $10.96 billion (down 10 per cent)
2. Telstra   $10.647 billion (up 14 per cent)
3. Commonwealth Bank $9.194 billion (up 50 per cent)
4. ANZ $8.148 billion (up 23 per cent)
5. BHP Billiton $7.466 billion (up 1 per cent)
6. Coles $7.125 billion (steady)
7. Westpac $6.936 billion (up 26 per cent)
8. NAB $6.283 billion (up 12 per cent)
9. Rio Tinto $5.17 billion (up 1 per cent)
10. Optus $3.775 billion (down 6 per cent)

Author: Nick Nichols
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