DBS, UOB and OCBC shoot up ranking of world’s 500 most valuable brands – with one bank rising 128 spots from last year

DBS Bank, United Overseas Bank (UOB) and OCBC Bank made it to Brand Finance’s Top 500 Global Brands report again.
Singapore Press Holdings

The brand values of Singapore’s three largest banks – DBS Bank, United Overseas Bank (UOB) and OCBC Bank – have risen over the past year, according to business valuation consultancy Brand Finance’s annual ranking of the world’s top 500 most valuable brands.

DBS Bank ranks 202nd this year – up 62 places from last year’s ranking.

Out of all three banks, UOB saw the greatest improvement as it jumped 128 spots, now standing in 363rd place. OCBC Bank climbed 89 places to rank one spot after UOB.

The five brands which topped the charts were Amazon, Apple and Google – which retained their positions last year – followed by Microsoft and Samsung.

Brand Finance measures the values of brands by estimating their likely future revenues – based on their royalty rates – to arrive at a “brand value”, which is defined as how much net economic benefit a licensor would achieve if the brand is licensed in the open market.

In a statement last Wednesday (Jan 23), DBS Bank said that its brand value rose 38 per cent from last year to US9.02 billion this year.

With a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 86.8 out of 100 – up by over five points from 81.2 last year – DBS Bank was ranked the 38th strongest brand in the world, up significantly from 144th in 2018, making it Asean’s strongest brand.

Samir Dixit, managing director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific, said: “As ASEAN’s strongest brand, DBS Bank has integrated technology and digital aspects in its core product offerings to enhance their consumer experience in a seamless and non-disruptive manner.

“Consumers are seeking disruptive solutions but not at the cost of a complete disruption to the customer experience. DBS Bank has managed to balance this well and this is one of the key contributors to their brand strength and business growth.”

Karen Ngui, DBS Bank’s head of group strategic marketing & communications said that the company is honoured to again represent Singapore on the global stage.

“DBS Bank’s unrelenting focus on digitalisation is driven by the desire to make banking invisible so that our customers can enjoy a lot more life, with a lot less bank.”

Gan Ai Im, UOB’s head of group brand, attributed the bank’s brand value improvement to its “value-based approach” in building the business.

“At UOB, the decisions we make and the actions we take are driven by this approach, which has been instrumental in building our brand across geographies and generations,” she said in a statement.

Koh Ching Ching, OCBC Bank’s head of group brand and communications, also said in a statement: “A strong brand is more important than ever, in today’s world of intensifying competition and heightened customer expectations. The OCBC Bank brand reflects our core values and our commitment to customers.”

According to her, a major initiative that strengthened the brand was its Brand Promise campaign launched in 2018 with the tagline Simply Spot On.

The brand campaign – which OCBC Bank said is not a marketing campaign – articulates the bank’s pledge to understand customers so as to serve them with appropriate solutions.

The Brand Finance report also ranked Amazon chief Jeff Bezos the top CEO in the world. The other top leaders were: Akio Toyoda from Toyota, Bernard Arnault from LVMH, Tim Cook from Apple and Robin Li from Baidu.

There were no CEOs from Singapore companies on the Brand Guardianship Index 2019.

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