The 2018 BrandZ™ UK Top 75 brands are worth a combined £205 billion

Innovative brands perform better than rivals as new food and drink names enter BrandZ™ most valuable UK brands ranking.
Download report Get in touch
uk market
kirsty cooke

Head of Digital Content

Get in touch

Consumers place more value on innovation as food and drink is named the most innovative sector in the BrandZ™ Top 75 Most Valuable UK Brands ranking, announced today by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.

Newer brands Just Eat, Innocent, Deliveroo and Brewdog have entered this year’s UK list, which has been extended to include 75 brands. Vodafone remains at no.1 with an increase in value of 6% to reach $28.9 billion, followed by HSBC (+7%, $23.6 billion) and Shell (+10%, $20.3 billion).

The BrandZ UK Top 75 is worth $271 billion (around £205 billion) – equivalent to just over 10% of the UK’s GDP. The 50 most valuable brands on the list have gained 5% in total value in the last year, compared with the 2017 BrandZ UK Top 50. The top innovators increased brand value by 25% more than their rivals.

This growth has been driven by the Top 10 risers, which have grown at nearly four times the rate of the rest of the brands. The fastest riser is Prudential, which increased its brand value 40% in the last year, followed by Dyson (31%), Asos (31%), and Dulux (18%). The BrandZ research shows that consumers perceive these fast-rising brands as particularly innovative and good at communicating, and they also have much stronger brand equity than the average across the ranking.

The brands that have entered the UK ranking for the first time, which are worth on average $1.1 billion, include Just Eat (no.30), bet365 (no.44), Compare the Market (no.46) and Ocado (no.49). Consumers view them as highly differentiated, recognising them for ‘shaking things up’ and providing a great experience. However, the older established names that remain at the top, such as Dove (no.10) and Shell (no.3), are worth $4.9 billion on average. These brands are considered less different, but more meaningful and top of mind.

Higher perceptions of innovation are proven to stimulate value growth: the brands in the BrandZ UK ranking that consumers perceive as the most innovative rose +18% in value in the last year, while the least innovative declined -7%.

David Roth, WPP, says: “The nation’s most valuable 75 brands have all risen to the top in a highly competitive, crowded and uncertain environment. Consumers value innovation, and it is key to helping UK companies’ future-proof their brands, deliver sustainable growth and increase in value; ever more vital in a post-Brexit world.”

The 2018 BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable UK Brands 

2018 Rank Brand Category Brand Value (US$bn) Percentage BV Change 2017 Rank
1 Vodafone Telecom Providers 28.9 +6% 1
2 HSBC Banks 23.6 +7% 2
3 Shell Oil & Gas 20.3 +10% 3
4 BT Telecom Providers 13.6 -4% 4
5 Sky Telecom Providers 12.0 +11% 6
6 BP Oil & Gas 11.8 +4% 5
7 Tesco Retail 9.1 +2% 7
8 Lipton Soft Drinks 8.7 +6% 8
9 Barclays Banks 6.3 -7% 9
10 Dove Personal Care 6.0 +1% 11

The BrandZ research indicates that the UK is still catching up when it comes to innovation. In 2017, consumers perceived the UK’s most valuable brands as only slightly more innovative than the average brand, putting them at risk from global competitors and new disruptors. The innovation score across the 50 most valuable brands in the UK was 102; in 2018 this has risen to 105 (the average brand is 100). This is lower than the 50 most valuable brands in the Global Top 100 (113), the US (111), Indonesia and China (both 108), Germany (107) and India (106).

Jane Bloomfield, Head of Business Development at Kantar UK, said: “Established and new brands can learn a lot from each other. Those older brands that form the bedrock of the UK economy have great staying power, having built salience and meaning. To grow, they need to work on increasing consumer perceptions that they are different, innovative and relevant. The disruptors entering the ranking, meanwhile, need to make their difference meaningful and salient to consumers – if they fail to do so they could have a short lifespan.”

Other trends highlighted in this year’s BrandZ™ Top 75 Most Valuable UK Brands report include:

  • Brands that are innovative are more loved, according to the BrandZ analysis of consumers’ opinions – but they have to clearly communicate their innovations in order to be recognised as innovators. Among the Top 10 innovators this year are Dyson, Deliveroo, BrewDog and Sky.
  • Innovation on its own will not sustain value growth. If a brand fails to innovate in a way that consumers find both meaningful and different, it drops in value. The brands considered innovative and meaningfully different – Dulux, Just Eat, Dyson, BBC, BrewDog, Compare the Market, Tesco, Sky, John Lewis and Innocent – are worth twice as much on average compared to low performers on both aspects.
  • Strong brands beat the stock market. The average share price of the 50 most valuable UK brands in our 2017 ranking increased 9.3% between November 2017 and July 2018, compared with 1.1% for the FTSE100. This means they created nine times as much value for shareholders.
  • Some leading names generate the vast majority of their revenue from overseas exposure. These include Johnnie Walker, Castrol, Lipton, Dove, Standard Chartered, KitKat and Vodafone – representing a broad range of categories.
  • Great communication is a vital driver of brand value. The brands considered by consumers to be the best communicators increased their value 13% in the past year, compared with a decline of -6% for the worst communicators.
  • Food and drink is seen as the most innovative category of all with an average score of 109, driven by new brands such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and BrewDog, followed by the household goods category, driven by brands including Dyson and Dulux.
  • The ground-breaking BrandZ Top 75 UK study ranks the UK’s most valuable brands, analyses their strengths, and identifies the key forces driving growth in this market. It is the second edition of an annual report that tracks and anticipates the evolving environment for brands in the UK, and charts their changing fortunes.

The ability of any brand to power business growth relies on how it is perceived by customers. As the only brand valuation ranking grounded in consumer opinion, BrandZ’s analysis enables UK brands to identify their strength in the market and provides clear strategic guidance on how to boost value for the long-term. Businesses worldwide trust BrandZ to provide the information they need to measure, manage and protect their most important intangible asset: their brand.

Notes for editors

Background and methodology

The valuation behind the BrandZ™ Top 75 Most Valuable UK Brands was conducted by Kantar Millward Brown, which specialises in brand equity research and brand valuation. The methodology mirrors that used to calculate the annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, which is now in its 13th year.

Commissioned by WPP and Kantar, the ranking combines rigorously analysed financial data from Bloomberg with the opinions of over 120,000 UK consumers. The BrandZ™ Top 75 Most Valuable UK Brands is the most definitive and robust ranking of the UK’s brands available, and thebrands ranked all meet these eligibility criteria:

  • They were originally created in the UK
  • They are owned by a publicly listed company traded on a stock exchange, or its financials are published in the public domain.

This approach produced a carefully conceived ranking of brands in 24 consumer-facing categories, including cars, energy providers, apparel, airlines, banks and entertainment.

The suite of BrandZ brand valuation rankings and reports includes the annual Global Top 100 as well as rankings for Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the US, Latin America and Brazil.

Get in touch