Zara Leads Interbrand’s Best Spanish Brands 2017



Zara has been named #1 in Interbrand’s just-released Best Spanish Brands 2017 report. The world’s biggest apparel retailer is first among Spain’s leading 30 brands, chosen for their brand valuation and representing “the global vanguard and on the verge of new important developments,” meriting recognition and attention both domestically and abroad.

The new class of Spain’s 30 most valuable brands represents a cross-sector of the country’s rich portfolio of sectors: financial services, telecommunications, fashion and retail, energy, sports, beverages and health.

Spain is among the most important economies in the European Union and globally. Last year, tourism rose to a record-breaking 82 million visitors, a surge of 8.9%, making Spain the world’s second most-visited country.

After 12 years, the seventh edition of Best Spanish Brands shows that “like the Best Global Brands, their provenance is not what defines and limits them, but rather, it’s about what they offer the world,” writes Gonzalo Brujó, CEO, EMEA & LatAm, for Interbrand. “Those that are truly leading the way cross national, cultural and sectorial borders.”

The Zara Factor

Zara Best Spanish Brands 2017 #1

Zara’s #1 ranking is a reflection of its 45% rise in brand value in 2017, according to Interbrand. Its success drove parent company Inditex’s spectacular results in 2017, with sales up 10% to $21 billion (with gross profits of $12.1 billion), a 9% rise from 2016.

Inditex’s operating model is unique, with each of its brands committing to a small quantity of merchandise, replenishing stock based on consumer preference and demand. As the crown jewel of the Inditex portfolio and a global style leader, Zara can meet its customers’ demands by manufacturing a new garment in 15 days in Europe, and shortly thereafter in the U.S.

The fashion retailer operates 2,266 stores, and while it opens new locations such as Belarus and expands e-commerce in markets including India, a disciplined management strategy also makes it ready to sell off under-performing Zara stores, including one in the prestigious Calle Preciado in Madrid. As Forbes notes, the brand’s “decisions on fashion are quickly made and executed.”

The Top 30

This is the first time that Inditex Group’s crown jewel, Zara, leads the ranking, with a new brand valuation of EUR €15,452m. It’s followed by the transatlantic telco giant, Movistar, whose brand value fell to EUR €10,646m, despite new forays into producing branded content. Banco Santander maintains its ranking position by growing its brand value 20% to EUR €5,576m.

Zara and Santander are currently the only two Spanish brands present in Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands ranking, which is comprised of the 100 most valuable brands around the world. Financial services brand BBVA and fashion brand Bershka (also owned by Inditex Group) round out the Top 5 at #4 (EUR €4,694m) and #5 (EUR €1,415m) respectively.

Of the 30 brands featured in this year’s ranking, 24 show positive change in comparison to 2015’s values, which reflect the notable improvement and momentum of the Spanish economy. The three Top Growing Brands include fashion brand Zara (+45%), retail brand Mercadona (+31%), and Inditex’s apparel brand, Massimo Dutti (+29%). Two new entrants have broken into the ranking: Estrella Galicia and Sanitas, debuting at #27 and #29.

“The excellent performance of the Best Spanish Brands deserves even more merit if we take into account the context of the economic crisis that we’ve experienced in Spain. These great brands have managed to overcome formidable obstacles and get stronger along the way, adapting and pioneering new international business strategies with a clear commitment to technological innovation,” observed Nancy Villanueva, Managing Director of Interbrand Madrid.

Brand Spain  (Marca España)

The rise in Spain’s leading brands has bolstered its national brand, too. As Brujó writes, “When we began this study in 2005, our conviction was that strong Spanish brands could uniquely strengthen Brand Spain (Marca España), and both propel and stabilize the growth engine of the Spanish economy. More than a decade has passed and just as Spanish brands have grown, so has our economy—substantially.”

This seventh edition of Best Spanish Brands marks “12 years of closely examining and learning from the brands that dynamize the Spanish economy and are part of the DNA of our society. While these brands were born and are carefully managed from global headquarters in Spain, their actions and aspirations do not know borders.”

“Those that are truly leading the way cross national, cultural, and sectorial borders. They understand that their brands, which are the conduit between people and technology, transcend any one product—they are facilitators of solutions, the means to lead and inspire communities, and the way to creatively answer tomorrow’s demands and enable us to thrive in the future.”

A Path to Growth

Looking ahead, Interbrand sees three deciding, driving factors for continued growth for Spain’s leading brands:
• More brands with an international mindset and put to the global test.
• More brands that resonate with their consumers and employees by listening to and anticipating their needs and desires. Now more than ever, this also means brands that are unafraid of dialogue, collaboration, and ‘coop-etition.’ To continue to compete internationally, the market must recognize that it is more than the sum of its individual brands, but that the critical opportunity lies in growing together.
Vanguardismo español applied to all categories and challenges to see beyond them for the greater opportunities. Digital disruption is an invitation to apply passion and creativity, but also determination and flexibility; to look for new ways to engage, solve problems creatively and efficiently, and explore new frontiers.

Spanish Brands to Watch

In the spirit of Interbrand’s Breakthrough Brands studies, the Best Spanish Brands report highlights Spain’s brands to watch. In addition to a robust network of brands and businesses vested in the national economy and built over multiple generations, Spain is home to “a new ecosystem of young, dynamic, and disruptive brands that without a doubt have an essential role in defining the future in the near and long term,” writes Nancy Villanueva.

The theme of Best Spanish Brands 2017 is “Dimensions,” which speaks to the relationship between the storied brands making the top 30 ranking and the emerging class of startups.

The new class of “brands to watch” includes Cabify, Glovo, Room Mate, El Ganso and Hawkers.


Interbrand’s Best Spanish Brands report identifies the most valuable Spanish brands by analyzing the many ways a brand benefits an organization—from delivering on customer expectations to driving economic value. Interbrand’s global methodology was the first brand valuation method to become ISO certified.

The ranking is based on a combination of attributes that contribute to a brand’s cumulative value:
• The financial performance of the branded products and services.
• The role the brand plays in influencing customer choice.
• The strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company.

Click here for Best Spanish Brands 2017.