RBC tops Kantar’s list of most valuable brands in Canada

RBC isn’t just the most valuable brand in Canada according to Kantar’s latest BrandZ report—it’s the second most valuable bank brand in the world.

And in terms of all global brands included in Kantar’s valuation, RBC ranks an impressive 57th, just behind TikTok (53rd) and Xbox (56th), but ahead of other giants like Gucci, J.P. Morgan, Vodafone, Toyota, and Bank of America.

Kantar’s well known BrandZ report represents the brands that make the largest absolute financial contribution to the total value of the parent company. The brand value is calculated using Kantar’s own methodology, combining extensive consumer insights and rigorous financial analysis. Globally, Kantar conducts 4.1 million consumer interviews in 51 markets, covering 19,250 brands across 522 categories.

RBC’s brand value rose 74% over the last two years, and is now worth US$37.7 billion. Kantar pointed to the new “Ideas Happen Here” brand platform as a factor in the brand growth, as well as sustainability initiatives that improved its scores on corporate responsibility metrics.

“As a purpose-driven brand, we’re deeply committed to helping our clients and communities realize their goals and thrive in a rapidly changing world,” said Mary de Paoli, RBC’s CMO, in a release introducing the results. “There is nothing more inspiring than being part of making their great ideas happen. This is what lies at the heart of our brand’s strength and the trust our clients place in us.”

This marks just the third BrandZ report focused on Canada, and the first full brand valuation since 2020 when the pandemic began. “[I]t was interesting to see how brands navigated through the disruption,” said Kantar Canada president Scott Megginson. “BrandZ has shown for years that brands with strong equity don’t fall as hard in financial downturns and also rebound faster. This was certainly true with our Canadian Top 40 growing 49% in total value compared to the 2020 study, which saw initial declines of 6% compared to 2019.”

Bank brands take up five of the top 10 spots in Canada, with TD at #2 (and #72 globally), Scotiabank at #6, Bank of Montreal at #7, and CIBC right behind at #8. The telecoms also rank high, with Bell at #3, Telus at #5, and Rogers at #9, with the top 10 rounded out by Lululemon at #4 and Tim Hortons at #10.

“Meanwhile, Canadian apparel brands have seen massive increases [in the last two years] with Aritzia more than doubling its brand value (+102%, to reach #29 on the Canadian list) and Lululemon growing their brand value by an additional 32% and ranking as the #4 retailer in our global benchmarks,” said Megginson.

The post-pandemic surge in brand value demonstrates how strong brands protect businesses from the worst of economic crises, an important lesson to bear in mind for businesses that may consider cutting their marketing spend if the widely anticipated recession does arrive in the months ahead.

“Two major themes came out of our analysis of the data,” said Ryan Crooker, vice-president brand guidance at Kantar Canada. First, the best brands all showed stronger salience—or mental availability—than the others, he said. “Creative quality is a clear driver of salience, and it also highlighted the importance of driving consumer messaging across touch-points through times of disruption.

“The same could be said in our current climate of inflation, and we’ll look closely at that next year. Transformative times are when brands needs to advertise, not go into a rabbit hole.”

The second theme was about how consumer perceptions of sustainability play into brand equity, he said. “The influence that it has differs geographically, and plays a larger role in Canada than in other G7 countries. Perceptions of sustainability are now three times more important to corporate reputation here than they were 10 years ago. Again, the top 10 brands outperformed others in this area.”


David Brown