Top Retail Brands Reflect Opportunity

A new retail study of the world's most valuable retail brands reveals several key merchandising and consumer trends that every licensing executive must be cognisant of in order to help garner a spot on retail shelves and ma

April 6, 2018

Top Retail Brands Reflect Opportunity

A new retail study of the world's most valuable retail brands reveals several key merchandising and consumer trends that every licensing executive must be cognisant of in order to help garner a spot on retail shelves and maximize marketing, promotions and sell-through.

Researched and produced by Kantar Retail and BrandZ, The Top 20 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands report is a spinoff version of the annual BrandZ study, The Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, which was featured in the June Issue of

License! Global

magazine.

While the overall ranking hasn't changed significantly in several years, it is a powerful list of the world's largest retailers that also represent the largest sellers of licensed merchandise. Not surprisingly, Walmart (U.S.), as with most rankings, leads the pack with a brand value of $39.4 billion, declining slightly over the past year.

The most surprising fact about the top 20 retail brands is the dramatic growth in the brand value experienced by Amazon.com and Aldi,

posting 359 percent and 241 percent increases, respectively, since 2006. Amazon.comnow ranks No. 2 and Aldi ranks No. 8, with brand values of $27.4 billion and $8.7 billion, respectively, indicating two major trends in retailing—the shift to ecommerce and consumers' penchant for low prices and private label products.

"This report helps illuminate the radical changes reshaping retail as shoppers, chastened by the recession and empowered with technology, think differently about what and how they purchase," says Wayne Levings, chief executive officer of Kantar Retail. "During periods of economic uncertainty, consumers and businesses increasingly rely on strong brands for the reassurance and reliability they represent. Knowing the value of this intangible asset helps corporate leadership and stakeholders make more informed decisions."

Furthermore, if the value of the retail brand is so important to both retail chains and consumers, then the value of licensed brands is also critically important. Licensed brands not only drive traffic, but also extend and enhance the overall brand equity of a retailer, as well as its connection to consumers.

Other key assumptions based on the study include:

  • "Value remains critical. Brands that combined value with a more emotion-based connection to consumers did well last year. That ability will continue to be key to engaging post-recession shoppers."
    • "Successful retail brands increasingly will be built on intimate knowledge of shopping behavior. Retailers that invest in this capability will thrive."
      • "The best retailers will leverage the unique bond of trust with their shoppers to become more important in other aspects of the lives of their shoppers—financial services, health care and entertainment are good examples."
        • "The battle for shopping trips will drive competitive strategy coming out of the recession. Retailers will fight to keep shopping trips gained during the downturn by keeping shoppers from returning to the outlets they abandoned."
          • "Mobile commerce will be a game changer in how, when and where shoppers purchase products."
            • "Brands must become active participants in digital conversations surrounding purchases or risk becoming irrelevant."
              • "Best-in-class retailers will maximize share of wallet from their most profitable shoppers."

                The savvy licensing executives who realize the changing dynamics of the consumer, the impact of ecommerce, the sensitivity of price and the bond between consumers and brands will get the shelf space and drive growth in the future.

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