Department store El Corte Ingles ranked second in value for consumer brands, placing behind Zara at 1.692 million euros. Unlike Zara, El Corte Ingles is one of the biggest Spanish investors in advertising. Only last year, they invested over 70 million euros on customer service proclamations such as “If you’re not satisfied, we’ll give your money back!” Slogans like this and a marketing strategy totally focused on customer service have increased the value of this brand to rank as the second most valuable in Spain. For consumers the value of El Corte Ingles resides fundamentally in its large variety of products and customer service.
In 1996 the company bought its eternal rival Galerias Preciados, eliminating the competitor and becoming the most admired business in the country. The president, Isidoro Alvarez decided on a diversification strategy, allowing El Corte Ingles to be in different markets as super centers, travel agencies, insurance, information technology and convenience stores, among others.
Among the twelve most valuable individual brands in Spain were Repsol and Iberdrola, two energy companies, which placed fourth and fifth respectively. Their investment in brand management and marketing is fueled by the opening of the global market.
The third individual brand ranked by value is the bank La Caixa; the last five individual brands in the ranking: El Pais, Mapfre, San Miguel, Fortuna and Leche Pascual, total between 200 and 400 million euros.
One of the main conclusions of this study is the irrefutable position of Group Telefonica in the corporate brands ranking, and the good reputation and image of the Spanish banking industry overall. Among the top four most valued corporate identities are also three of the most important banking groups in Spain: Santander, BBVA and Popular; as well as two savings bank brands in the top six for individual brands: La Caixa and La Caja Madrid.
La Caixa’s third position in the rank is explained by management’s efforts to break ties with the cold image that characterizes the banking sector in general. The spirit of this company is reflected in its identity right down to the logotype. It appeals to clients through personalized service, innovation and an active interest in youth. In addition, the financial brand enjoys the best reputation among other Spanish banks. For La Caixa, public image is a priority; last year, they conducted a customer satisfaction study with 248,000 clients. The positive image of La Caixa is partially helped by the Fundacion La Caixa, which invests over 160 million euros in social, cultural and sport activities.
La Caixa’s dynamism and image orientation works as an eye opener for other savings banks, notably La Caja Madrid, which has worked to make its identity clearer and more attractive. The effort has helped place La Caja Madrid as the sixth most valuable brand in Spain.
Santander, a result of a merger between Santander and Central Hispano in 1998, ranked second in value among corporate identities, behind Group Telefonica. Following its merger, the bank struggled with a confusing logotype and the initials BSCH. As a result of the merger, the board was more preoccupied in making both sides happy than choosing an appropriate corporate identity for the business. In 2001, they finally decided to work with an identity whose mark reflected a white flame on a red background, under the name Group Santander. The decision was meant to simplify the denomination of Latin-American branches in which corporate element played a vital role.
BBVA, which placed third in the corporate identity ranking, was the result of a merger between BBV with Argentaria in 1999. Francisco Gonzalez, president of BBVA, chose to take advantage of the brand equity in the BBV identity, keeping the corporate blue, the initials, and adding an A for Argentaria. BBVA is very careful to remain consistent in its unity of design across all of its branches and in its attention to internal brand management among employees. Its identity stresses a serious approach and a strong commitment to social, cultural and environmental projects.
Banco Popular, fourth on the corporate identity ranking, chose one of the hardest brand strategies there is to sustain among a combination of umbrella brands with solid regional brands. The Group’s multibrand strategy, allows the Popular brand to become reinforced by the solidity of its regional branches, which include Vasconia, Banco de Castilla, and Banco de Andalucia.
The methodology that Interbrand Spain used for this analysis is based on the economic benefit that the brand brings to a business. It also takes into account financial analysis, market research studies and brand risk. This procedure supports the theory that a well-managed brand influences the client’s decision-making process, and therefore, generates value.
The first step to create the Spanish ranking was to select 100 companies out of 5000 of the biggest in the nation, based on analysis published annually by Actualidad Economica and by Foro de Marcas Renombradas Española. Using standard criteria to identify the most profitable companies, 50 to 100 companies passed the screening process.
The information used to create the ranking came from annual reports of the companies, regardless of whether the companies are public or not. The consultants at Interbrand Spain are not currently in contact with these companies; all research was based on publicly available information.
After analyzing annual reports, the consultants try to extract the percentage of income originating exclusively from the brand. In other words, which percentage of income is from the company’s material assets (e.g., the factory, equipment, stock) and which comes from intangible assets (e.g., the brand).
The last phase of the process involves analyzing the power of the brand to generate future income. The methodology takes into consideration seven aspects: market, stability, leadership, geography, trend, support and protection. The risk analysis helps shed light on how the brand will generate income for the company in the next years, following the parameters of discounted cash flow. The summation of the analysis is a determination of the present net value of the brand.