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PETRONAS pulls ahead of competition to be ranked Malaysia’s most valuable brand

PETRONAS has come out on top as Malaysia’s most valuable brand, with a brand value of US$13,318 million, according to the annual “Top 100 Malaysia Brands” 2019 rankings by brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance. It was also listed as the most improved brand with an increase of absolute value of US$ 1,817 million this year. In 2018, PETRONAS had a brand value of US$11,501 million.

Coming in second and third respectively were Maybank with a 2019 brand value of US$4,209 million and Genting with a 2019 brand value of US$3,048 million. The three brands have a combined brand value of more than US$20 billion. Also making it to the top five were Sime Darby (US$2,808 million) and Tenaga Nasional (US$2,490 million). According to Brand Finance, the US$ 34.4 billion combined value of top 10 brands make up for 61% of the total value of the top 100. This shows the significant effort required by the brands outside of top 10 in terms of brand strength improvement and revenue growth if they wish to compete in the top 10 space, Brand Finance added.

Meanwhile, in the battle of telcos, Digi ousted Celcom to clinch the title of the strongest Malaysian brand with its brand rating being upgraded from AAA- to AAA. Digi is now one of only four Malaysian brands, including PETRONAS, Maybank and Public Bank, with the AAA brand rating, according to the ranking. This year, Brand Finance’s Top 100 rankings also saw six new entrants – Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Parkway Pantai, FFM Group, Golden Screen Cinemas, Hiap Teck Venture and KNM.

The highest intangible value brand is Padini with a brand value to enterprise value ratio of 76%, highlighting the role of brand for business success.

That said, according to Brand Finance, the brand strength which measured by Brand Strength Index has remained stagnant for most Malaysian brands. It added that while the brands may be doing well locally, they have been losing out to some of the key competitors in the region as they lack competitiveness outside of Malaysia market.

Samir Dixit, managing director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific, said that PETRONAS is in a very strong position and it will continue to grow its brand strength and brand value while the Malaysia brands have grown considerably well overall.

“It is the brand strength for most brands that remains a concern.  Also, the rankings remain very top heavy with 61% of the total brand value contributed by the Top 10 brands and 93% contributed by the Top 50 brands. We would like to see a more diverse mix at the top and more significant value increase at the bottom which means other brands must start focusing on their value and brand strength,” he said.

Dixit also said Malaysian companies should be more brand-driven and not sales or offers-driven. While the latter help sell in the short term, it might destroy the long term value and strength of the brand. He explained:

Branding has to be a strategic agenda for the senior management and boards and must be managed like any other business asset and not just a legal trademark.

(Photo courtesy: PETRONAS’ Facebook page)

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