Sri Lanka’s superbrands of the year

Friday, 10 April 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

    The year’s most valuable Sri Lankan brands along with other supporting lists were recently released by Brand Finance Lanka in the latest Brands Annual. This year, Brand Finance Lanka also looked at smaller, niche brands and identified those that are pioneering the digital marketing sphere, as well as those newly emerging brands which could be the future face of Sri Lanka to the world. Whilst branding is well known and used extensively for consumer brands, the practice of branding is not usually applied to corporate brands which are marketing to other businesses – the so called business to business brands. Conglomerates and export businesses are also included in this year’s listing for this purpose. All of them are competing for a whole host of resources, whether it is talent to run the company, building a reputation with international partners and customers or having a positive image with important stakeholders such as regulators or governments. Whichever way it is viewed, the reputation of the corporate brand precedes any discussion and managing it skilfully is key for sustained success. According to Brand Finance Lanka Managing Director Ruchi Gunewardene, “Whether in the local or international markets, Sri Lankan brands are competing with the best of multinationals, who have honed their skills of brand building over decades. And, based on our analysis, we find that the multinationals have an edge over our local brands, with very few exceptions. This is because many of our companies do not adopt a structured approach to positioning, defining and building brands, with a long term view in mind.” Brands are often viewed as requiring expensive advertising campaigns to be built. This is not true. Think Brandix or MAS. The power of a brand actually resides when it is being lived by all employees on a day to day basis. Think John Keells. It is not meant only for large businesses either; it can be built by small rapidly growing businesses. Think Kapruka. And it requires a sustained and long term commitment to ensure it continues to generate value. Think Dialog. Taking the long view is key to building brands because of the time it takes to nurture and develop them. In the most valuable brands table, there is a continued trend seen in previous years, which is the consolidation of the established brands at the top of the table as they begin to move ahead of the others. The challenge for the other brands is to use their smaller scale and flexibility to out manoeuvre the larger players. According to Gunewardene, “The ability of the top 10 to grind out stellar performances is highly commendable. Essentially, the big brands are getting bigger.” BOC retains its position as the most valuable brand in Sri Lanka, by a very close margin from Peoples Bank. The performance of Dialog which is the only triple A rated brand on the table is nothing but impressive. This rating stands Dialog in good staid; as it is indicative of a very strong brand with the power to further fuel its brand and business value over a long period of time. And, according to Gunewardene, “This is the gold standard that all brands need to strive to achieve.” The other notable performance in the top 10 has been Nestle, which has shown a remarkable performance over the years. Since being outside the top 10 ranking four years ago, Nestle has steadily progressed up the table over the years to secure a very strong position at No. 7 this year. It would seem that the portfolio of brands under Nestle have been fine tuned to churn out this growth year on year. This is Brand Finance Lanka’s 12th year of ranking brands, with the objective of analysing how businesses are growing brands so as to enhance the value of their businesses. “The listings featured in this year’s edition are expected to create greater awareness and focus on the importance of branding across a wide variety of businesses, so that they give due emphasis to this important discipline,” concluded Gunewardene. Brand Finance is an independent consultancy focused on the strategy, management and valuation of brands and branded businesses. Since 1996, Brand Finance has performed hundreds of brand valuations with an aggregate value of over $ 150 billion. The valuations have been in support of a variety of business needs, including: Valuations as part of a mandate to deliver value-based marketing strategy and tracking, thereby bridging the gap between marketing and finance Technical valuations for accounting, IPOs, tax, legal purposes and for commercial transactions Headquartered in UK, Brand Finance has a global network across 17 countries, including USA, India, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Netherlands, Singapore and Sri Lanka.