It would be an understatement to say that the financial services sector globally has had a shaky year. Yet, interestingly, Canadian financial services brands, while not completely immune to the sector’s difficulties, have generally been performing strongly.
Brand Finance Canada has published a report on Canada’s Most Valuable Brands 2009, which is dominated by financial services companies. Five of the top ten spots are taken by banks, with Royal Bank of Canada earning top honors with an estimated brand value of CAD$5.4 billion. BlackBerry, building on its startling success of recent years, takes second place with its value rated at CAN$4.6 billion. The full top ten of most valuable brands is as follows:
- RBC (Banks)
- BlackBerry (Computers)
- TD (Banks)
- Manulife (Insurance)
- Bell (Telecommunications)
- Scotiabank (Banks)
- Loblaws (Food)
- Bombardier (Miscellaneous Manufacture)
- BMO (Banks)
- CIBC (Banks)
The report goes on to reiterate the importance of a strong brand, explaining that brands tends to create value by shifting both the demand and supply curves. On the demand side, they influence buyer behaviour by instigating greater trial, improved frequency of use, increased loyalty, and often a willingness to pay a price premium, among other things. From a supply point of view, strong brands can attract better employees, influence terms of trade, and may even reduce the cost of capital.
So, while some organizations may overlook or neglect their brand at times such as these, when the economy is uncertain and other things may seem to be a greater priority, it is vitally important to understand the importance of your brand.