Brazilian beer brand Skol has retained its place as the most valuable brand in Latin America.
The brewer, which fought off competition from Corona last year, has once again topped the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands report by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.
The research companies said that it ‘demonstrated clear purpose to its audience with participation at events such as music festivals, and innovation in communications, packaging and products’.
In the face of major political changes and high inflation that hit consumers’ budgets and confidence in 2016, resulting in a 22% decrease in the total value of the region’s strongest brands, the retail sector was the only category that did not decline in value. It remained static at $20.96 billion, but, as a consequence of the decline in value of other categories, retail brands made up an increased proportion of the region’s most valuable brands.
The value of the ten largest brands declined by just 14%, which the BrandZ report showed the importance of investing in marketing and building a strong brand to protect against tough times.
Beer and food continue to play an important role in the region’s economy: the list of the ten largest brands is dominated by five in beer, including four owned by Anheuser-Busch that hold a combined value of $26 billion.
Nevertheless, the category declined 2% overall, but the impact was softened by beer brands in Mexico, where the younger generation has expanded and access to credit is growing. The fastest risers in this year’s top 50 were Mexican beer brands Tecate (26th) and Sol (33rd), which both grew 31%.
Mexico’s Corona was second in the list with a brand value of $7.647 billion – $135 million behind Skol.
Eduardo Tomiya, CEO of Kantar Vermeer Latin America, said: “Arguably a company’s most important asset, a strong brand demonstrates a clear purpose which transcends functional benefits and is shared by every stakeholder. Purpose-oriented brands generate higher shareholder value than their competitors. This is where beer brands, such as Skol and Corona for example, as well as retail and communication brands excel – combining local strength with attributes such as innovation, a superior customer experience and a clear value proposition.”
The report said that trust in a brand is increasingly important to consumers, and that a rise in smartphone penetration and greater access to Internet of Things technology was enabling companies to be more innovation in the ways in which they stay in touch with consumers.
Kantar Hispanic LatAm CEO Gabriel Castellanos said: “Tough times call for brands to ask themselves tough questions and make difficult decisions on their marketing investments and business actions. Formulating an effective strategy that balances quality, differentiation, relevance and cost requires a granular understanding about how the brand is perceived and what will resonate with the consumer.”
And David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia, said: “Even in difficult times brands can maintain and grow their value. Latin Americans are still buying their favourite brands, but shopping more carefully. Price and quality are important, but must be reinforced with a brand promise to deliver emotional benefit, achieved through uniting digital technology, consumer data and brand creativity.”
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