Qatar has six brands out of the top 50 brands in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region in 2015, with a combined brand value of $8.2bn, according to a recent study published by brand valuation and strategy consultancy firm Brand Finance.
The study, The Brand Finance Mena 50, reported that Qatar Airways was the fourth most valuable brand in the Mena, with a brand value of $27bn, followed by QNB in the fifth position, with brand value of $2.6bn, and Ooredoo at the 11th spot, with brand value of $1.7bn.
Also included in the list were Commercial Bank (41st) with a brand value of $413mn, Doha Bank (47th) valued at $358mn, and Qatar Islamic Bank (48th) with a $317mn brand value.
Every year, Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test, including the top 50 in the Middle East. They are evaluated to determine which are the most powerful, and the most valuable.
The Brand Finance Mena 50 now runs on its eighth consecutive year. The rapid brand value growth that took place between 2013 and 2014 has continued. The total brand value for the Middle East’s top 50 brands has increased 23% between 2014 and 2015 from $50.3bn to $61.7bn.
This does not merely reflect a very large jump by a small number of the largest brands, brand values are growing strongly across the board. Forty four of the 50 brands have recorded double digit brand value growth rates over the last year, some by as much as 91%.
The study also said all of Qatar’s brands have performed well this year. The average brand value growth rate for the entire Middle East was 23%, while the rate for Qatari brands was nearly double that at 47%.
The Middle East’s two fastest -growing brands are both from Qatar: QIB has risen 91% and Ooredoo 82%, helped in part by the rebrand of providers in markets such as Algeria, Tunisia, Kuwait, and Oman under the Ooreedoo master brand.
The rebrand to Ooredoo highlights an encouraging trend among brands in the region – internationalisation. Unlike QTel (Qatar Telecom), the new name is free of national associations, making its smooth adoption in foreign markets much more likely, the study said.
Other brands include National Bank of Abu Dhabi (which is using the acronym NBAD in preference to the full name) to limit its national, institutional associations and instead steadily develop a reputation as an international player. Other brands following the same path include National Bank of Kuwait (now known as NBK) and First Gulf Bank (FGB), which successfully refreshed its brand last year. This branding trend points to the growing power of Middle Eastern brands on the international stage and the resulting need for branding to reflect the needs of all markets.
The UAE tops the list in the total of brand values for each country. It has reclaimed the title from Saudi Arabia, which pulled ahead for the first time last year. The combined value of all 16 Emirati brands is $25.5bn, while the 17 brands from Saudi Arabia total $21.7bn.
The average brand value to enterprise value ratio (BV/EV) for the region is growing. The figure was 7.2% in 2013 (the same as in 2010) but rose to 8.1% in 2014 and to 10.7% this year. This change shows that brand values are not just increasing in line with company expansion. It demonstrates that Middle East enterprises are starting to develop their intangible assets more effectively and maximise their contribution to business value.
Brand Finance chief executive David Haigh said, “It is very pleasing to see such robust brand value growth across the board when the countries of the Gulf are surrounded by troubled nations.
“Mena brands are not just surviving this tricky period but are thriving, growing in importance within their domestic markets and in many cases out-competing international brands. They are emerging from their position of regional significance and becoming international brands themselves, adapting or changing their identities to suit global markets.”
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