PETRONAS has been named the most valuable brand in Southeast Asia and strongest oil and gas brand in the world. According to an annual report by brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance, the oil and gas brand is valued at US$12,049 million, and its global marketing strategy is said to have helped the brand grow international recognition. Its sponsorship of the F1 Mercedes team in 2020 was also one of the factors that led PETRONAS to snag the title of most valuable brand in Southeast Asia. The report explained that the sponsorship "paid dividends to the brand" as Lewis Hamilton secured the title for the team in 2020. Due to this partnership with F1 and Mercedes, PETRONAS is "at the forefront" of technology adoption, driving fuel formulations and efficiency of fuel usage to help reduce carbon footprint, the report said.
On the innovation aspect, PETRONAS established an online platform for technological crowdsourcing, Innovation Gateway (iG@P). Through collaborations via iG@P, PETRONAS is said to have delivered more than 800 solutions for operational efficiency, competitive edge and to provide differentiated growth outside of traditional upstream and downstream marketing. PETRONAS also recently launched virtual pipelines for liquefied natural gas in Malaysia, to enable easier access to cleaner energy. All these activities demonstrated the ability of the PETRONAS brand to adapt and evolve in line with industry-wide challenges, the report stated.
PETRONAS also saw a leadership shuffle in 2020. After five years as CEO, Wan Zulkiflee departed PETRONAS mid-2020, and was succeeded by Muhammad Taufik. Taufik ranked third among the top oil brand CEOs, and 38th among the top 100 CEOs in the Brand Guardianship Index 2021. In July 2020, PETRONAS' vice president of downstream marketing, Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohd Tahir, also retired from his role. He was replaced by Ahmad Adly Alias, who was previously the VP of liquefied natural gas marketing and trading at PETRONAS, according to his LinkedIn. Syed Zainal later joined Dagang NeXchange, a service provider in Malaysia's trade facilitation and energy sector, as group managing director.
On a more regional level, Samsung was ranked most valuable brand in Asia and fifth overall in terms of brand value for the third year running. The report explained that a combination of new innovations and business practices allowed the firm to increase its value by 9% to US$102.6 billion in 2020. Samsung's high valuation can be attributed to its release of the world’s first 5G mobile, the Galaxy S20, last year. This has likely played a role in the brand’s increased familiarity and reputation with consumers, solidifying its position as a market leader and innovator, according to the report. Furthermore, Brand Finance said the region-wide tendency towards diversification and conglomeration has built resilience for companies in the region and may have helped shield Samsung from some of the impacts of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, bagging the title of world's most valuable brand was Apple, overtaking Amazon and Google which came in second and third respectively.
Brand Finance said Apple's diversification strategy was the main factor that accounted for 87% brand value increase, amounting to a value of US$263.4 billion for the brand. Under Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple began to focus on developing its growth strategies above and beyond the iPhone – which in 2020 accounted for half of sales versus two-thirds in 2015. The diversification policy has also seen the brand expand into digital and subscription services, including the App Store, iCloud, Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Arcade. On New Year’s Day alone, Brand Finance said App Store customers spent US$540 million on digital goods and services.
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