From Brand’s End to John O’Groats… has Brexit bludgeoned Brit brands?

British brands have suffered “dramatic falls” in value this year, according to global brand valuers Brand Finance.

88 of the 140 British brands assessed across 2016 and 2017 declined in value, losing on average 6% of their value.

Blimey!!!  Is it time for marketers to panic on the streets of London…?

No.  Brand Finance’s valuations are significantly influenced by the devaluation of the sterling in the wake of the Brexit vote.  In fact, comparing sterling-denominated values shows that the majority of British brands continue to perform strongly.  In fact, 85 brands increased in value in GBP terms.

A Shell Game

Sticking with the US valuations for the moment…

Shell is currently Britain’s most valuable brand.  Their brand value is £28.3B, up 35% year to year.  No doubt the steady increase in oil prices across 2016 played a key role in this increase, as did Shell’s significant investment in marketing that positions it as an innovative provider of clean energy solutions.

The Lynx Effect

Proving that British brands aren’t entirely “on the nose”, Unilever’s underarm deodorant Lynx is Britain’s fastest growing brand.  It rose 91% in value to £2.1B via a complete repositioning of the brand away from its former anachronistic marketing.

However, the devaluation of sterling vs the dollar does create a more pervasive risk for British brands… takeover.  The UK has created many of the world’s most famous brands over its long history, is vulnerable to cashed-up international buyers.   Unilever and Burberry both recently defended bids from the US (from Kraft-Heinz and Coach respectively), and ITV is reported to have been the subject of repeated offers.



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