Every brand in the Brand Finance UK top 10 lost value last year, and many are likely to see a permanent decline, thanks to long term trends. Overall Britain’s top brands lost £30 billion in value due to Covid-19.
Airlines suffered the most, thanks in part to the way they disappointed and frustrated customers over refund policies, but also because so many people – particularly business travellers – are reassessing the need to take plane journeys in the light of teleconferencing, climate concerns and cost. British Airways lost 43 per cent of value and EasyJet lost 29 per cent.
Shell and BP took the top two spots as the UK’s most valuable brands, despite being fossil fuel based companies at a time when the world is meant to be switching to alternative sources of energy. Shell’s value fell by 12 per cent fall last year and BP’s by 9 per cent, but a global presence, a commitment to brand management and talk of net-zero futures have kept them on top.
Online shops and services like ASOS (up 38 per cent) and Ocado (up 28 per cent) unsurprisingly delivered much healthier brand value scores. Even Deliveroo, which has been not done well on the stock market, was up by 52 per cent.
Health and hygiene brands also fared well: Finish, Dettol, Airwick, Lysol, Boots and The Body Shop all upped their value by around 20 per cent.
Ernst & Young was in trouble at the end of 2019 for a sexist leadership training programme that told women how to dress and act around men, claiming that women find it harder to focus and even to speak coherently. But that didn’t stop it being the UK’s strongest brand in 2020, measured by metrics other than pure value e.g. marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.