TD is Canada’s most valuable brand; COVID could erase 16% of Canadian brand value

Canadian brands could lose as much as 16%—or approximately $45 billion—of their current combined value of $287 billion during the COVID crisis according to Brand Finance’s Canada 100 2020 report. Brand Finance says the effects of the current crisis will be felt well into next year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is now a major global health threat and its impact on global markets is very real,” said Brand Finance CEO David Haigh. “Worldwide, brands across every sector need to brace themselves for the Coronavirus to massively affect their business activities, supply chain and revenues in a way that eclipses the 2003 SARS outbreak.”

Charles Scarlett-Smith, marketing director with Brand Finance Canada, added that the crisis will likely result in “big shifts and changes in the hierarchy” of Canadian brand values.

Globally, COVID could lead to a drop of as much as $1.54 trillion in brand value, with the aviation, oil/gas, tourism/leisure, restaurant and retail industries the most hard-hit at—as much as 20%.

Brand Finance predicts a moderate impact (which it defines as a 10% loss of brand value) for brands in sectors like tech, healthcare, automobile and tobacco, and limited impact (zero loss of brand value) in sectors such as household products, utilities, telecoms, food and soft drinks.

The information prefaces Brand Finance’s newest overview of the world’s 5,000 most valuable brands, which was compiled prior to the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.

In Canada, the annual ranking saw TD overtake RBC to become the country’s most valuable brand for the first time since 2013 (see chart below). TD’s brand value of $21.2 billion represents a 16.3% increase from last year.

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The company’s expansion along the Eastern U.S. seaboard was a key factor in its rise in the rankings said Brand Finance, with its U.S. operations now accounting for 42% of its overall brand value.

Banks occupy the top five spots on the list, with TD followed by RBC (a brand value of $20.5 billion), Scotiabank ($13.3 billion), BMO ($12.5 billion) and CIBC ($10.4 billion).

The report noted that a 2019 rebranding initiative that saw Great-West Lifeco consolidate its Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life brands under the Canada Life banner helped propel it into the top 10 for the first time, jumping 52 spots to sixth overall. Its brand value rose 688% to $10.2 billion in the past year, with Brand Finance noting that the consolidated brand will require “much less investment” to maintain. 

Telecom companies take up three of final four spots, with asset management firm Brookfield (#7, $9.5 billion) rounding out the top 10.

Canada’s major telco brands all saw their brand value slip for the second year in a row, with Bell dropping from sixth to eighth place in the rankings, Telus from seventh to ninth and Rogers from ninth to 10th. Both Bell and Rogers experienced double-digit declines in brand value.

The B.C.-based burger chain A&W (which just released a thank you ad featuring its longtime spokesman Allen Lulu), is the fastest growing B.C. brand, and the third-fastest growing brand in Canada, with its brand value increasing by 37.7% to $758 million over the past year.

The chain opened 50 new restaurants in its most recent financial year, notes Brand Finance, and was the first major fast food brand to add plant-based burgers to its menu—which it called a “courageous move” that has since been followed by other chains.

This year’s list features 10 new entrants: Barrick Gold (#62, $856 million) , Toromont (#76, $609 million), Baytex (#87, $455 million), Natrel (#88, $454 million), Healthy Choice (#91, $434 million), Enerplus (#92, $433 million), Mark’s (#93, $421 million), Crescent Point (#96, $397 million) Shopify (#98, $389 million) and Iogo (#99, $381 million).

Chris Powell