Canadian retail brands have demonstrated their resilience in the new Kantar BrandZ Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands ranking, revealed today, despite ongoing economic challenges. The top three highest growing brands in the new Canadian brand ranking are discount retailers HomeSense (No.30; +38%), Winners (No.28; +32%) and Dollarama (No.10; +19%), reflecting Canadian shoppers need for greater convenience and value. New-entrant Maxi (No.34; US$669m) and re-entrants No Frills (No.37; US$580m) and Food Basics (No.40; US$520m) demonstrated the Retail category’s positive contribution to the Top 40 ranking, as it grew 9% year-on-year.
lululemon (No.3; US$17.3bn) also showed exceptional performance, as it entered the top 3 for the first time and increased its brand value by 8% on the back of strong financial results and international expansion. Having pledged to manufacture all its clothes from sustainable materials by 2030, the multinational athletic apparel retailer showed why having a strong purpose – the concept that brands should contribute to the greater good of society beyond just selling products – is an essential part of its DNA and its success.
Fellow apparel brand Aritzia (No.29; US$1.3bn) achieved the status of being the most different brand in the ranking, and its still-limited footprint leaves it plenty of room for expansion in the future.
The total value of the ranking dropped slightly this year by -7% to US$186 billion, compared to last year’s phenomenal post-pandemic recovery of 49%. Canadian Financial Services brands, despite global pressures and recession threats, continue to play a dominant role, with twelve brands accounting for over half (52%) of the total ranking’s value, and five brands appearing in the Top 10. RBC (No.1; US$34.7bn) remains the most valuable Canadian brand in 2023 has retained the number one position since the rankings began in 2019. RBC saw positive movement across all metrics, driven mostly by being perceived as more salient and meaningful to customers.
Commenting on the results, Dave McKay, President & Chief Executive Officer, RBC, said, "We're honored to once again be named Canada's most valuable brand and grateful for the continued trust of those we serve. For over 150 years, RBC has been committed to supporting our clients and communities by bringing them the advice and support that help make ideas and dreams happen—no matter how big or small. This incredible recognition is a testament to the work and dedication of our employees, who make our best moments possible every day."
The resilience of retail
Much of the movement in this year’s report involves value retail brands, reflecting the significant behavioral shifts among Canadian shoppers. Research shows that value, convenience and word-of-mouth have resulted in brand value growth for the fastest risers and new entrants compared to the remaining brands in this year’s Top 40.
While shoppers continue to exercise prudence during difficult economic times, they also continue to pay for premium brands that differentiate themselves from competitors by being innovative, different, offering great customer experience, and trying to improve consumers’ lives with a genuine sense of purpose.
The Kantar BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Canadian Brands 2023
|Brand Value 2023 (US$M)
|Bank of Montreal
*This year’s brand valuation reflects the financial merger and acquisition activity of Telecom Providers Rogers and Shaw. Roger’s acquired Shaw and all four brands (Roger’s, Fido, Chatr and Shaw) and were valued as a part of parent company Roger’s.
Building demand in Canada
Over the last five years, top Canadian brands have demonstrated a downward trend in Demand Power, a metric used by Kantar to measure demand for a brand based on consumer perception. The four drivers of Demand Power are Distinctiveness, Convenience, Purpose and Advanced.
Clothing retailer Winners and Dollarama are bucking this trend, relying on Demand Power to drive sales. Maxi, Tim Hortons (No.14; US$2.9bn) and Shoppers Drug Mart (No.20; US$2.2bn) lead the way in terms of their Distinctiveness, which means having great advertising, a clear look and feel, and well-designed products and services. Tim Hortons has invested heavily in customizing content for different digital platforms and tops the Brand Purpose Index, helping it to reach a younger audience.
Second overall in the Canadian Top 40 ranking is TD (No.2; US$25.4bn) and is one of the Advanced brands that excels in the quality of its mobile experience, along with several other brands across different categories, notably Telecom Providers Bell (No.4; US$16.3 bn) and Telus (No.5; US$10.4bn), Financial Services brands Bank of Montreal (No.6, US$9.1bn) and Scotia Bank (No.8; US$7.0bn) and airline Air Canada (No.23; US$1.6bn).
Other key trends highlighted in the Kantar BrandZ Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands report include:
- Green Fashion: With a focus on using sustainable materials, ethical methods of production, and circular business models, Canada is emerging as a clear leader in this fast-growing area, one which is expected to reach $12.1 billion in 2027. Home to numerous green fashion start-ups, Canadian brands are manufacturing clothes using low-impact fabrics and have achieved notable success such as lululemon.
- Inclusive design: 22% of the Canadian population is living with disabilities which outpaces other wealthy countries. Brands should think carefully about inclusive design – the practice of creating products that are accessible to as many people as possible – as this can be a powerful avenue for innovation.
- Health and wellbeing: Studies show that Gen Z in Canada (and elsewhere) is easily the most stressed-out of generations. The de-stigmatization of mental health issues has led to more people seeking treatment. Canadian brands have been leading the way on this issue. For example, Bell’s ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign, which has been running for more than a decade, seeks to mainstream discussions of mental health. Smaller brands are also giving a percentage of every sale to mental health organizations.
- Electric mobility: Significant investments by the Canadian Government into electric vehicles (EVs) and infrastructure, along with access to raw materials such as lithium, places the country in prime position for automotive and technology brands to take advantage of a more widespread adoption of electric mobility as it becomes more affordable.
The Kantar BrandZ Top 40 Most Valuable Canadian Brands ranking, report and extensive analysis are available now at www.kantar.com/campaigns/brandz/canada.
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