Vodafone the UK’s most valuable brand as Google takes top global spot - report

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Vodafone has been named the UK’s most valuable brand while Google has regained its leading global position, according to an annual ranking.

HSBC and BT took second and third place respectively in the BrandZ UK ranking, while tea brand Lipton entered the top 10 for the first time and Dove made a return to take ninth position.

Vodafone held on to the top spot with a strong communications campaign, despite its brand value dropping 4% to $37 billion, while BT benefited from being a “disrupter” and reaping the benefits of entering the pay TV and mobile markets to increase its value by 3% to $18.5 billion, the annual report by WPP and Millward Brown said.

Personal care brand Dove entered the UK top 10 for the first time since 2013 with a value of $5 billion, boosted by its commitment to campaigns such as its ‘Choose Beautiful’ initiative which called on women to renounce narrow standards of beauty.

Tea brand Lipton is another newcomer to the top 10 with a value of $8.5 billion after it targeted health-conscious consumers and found success in India and the US.

Supermarket chain Tesco retained its sixth placing despite dropping 5% in value to $9 billion, although this compared favourably to last year’s 37% decline.

The report said Tesco’s placing indicated that its turnaround plan was taking effect, and the grocer was adapting to technology-driven challenges faced by the retail sector.

However, “another challenging year” for the UK saw the total value of its top 10 brands drop 8% from last year to $137 billion, compared to an increase of 5% in mainland Europe.

The drop indicated that the influence of the economic slowdown in China, global financial issues and uncertainty “cannot be under-estimated”, the report said.

The report added that continual innovation had pushed Google back to the top spot, from second place last year, with a brand value of $229 billion - up 32% on 2015.

Apple dropped back to second place with an 8% decrease in value to $228 billion.

Peter Walshe, global BrandZ director at Millward Brown, said: “It’s clear from the BrandZ rankings that innovation, whether that is delivering something new or disrupting an existing market, plays a critical role in a brand’s success, both in the UK and around the world.

“More than that, it is also about consumer perception, so it is essential that they shout about their achievements and then deliver on their promises.

“This is ably demonstrated by the notable success stories of brands such as Vodafone, BT, Dove and Lipton, which are thriving despite the impact that the current global outlook is having on the UK.”

The study uses the views of three million consumers globally, alongside financial data, to calculate a company’s brand value.

The top 10 most valuable UK brands, according to the BrandZ ranking, are:

1. Vodafone


3. BT

4. Shell

5. BP

6. Tesco

7. Lipton

8. Barclays

9. Dove

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