Brazilian oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (NYSE:PBR) is no longer Latin America’s most valuable brand. Instead, Mexico’s popular Corona beer has been crowned as the top name in the list of brands to watch, according to the BrandZ index of 2013 compiled by U.S. brand consultancy Millward Brown Optimor.
Corona, which was sold to Belgian beer company Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) in June, grew 29 percent in “brand value” in the last year – up to $6.62 billion. Millward Brown cited the “strong financial performance” of Corona’s parent company and a “solid brand positioning which is popular with consumers worldwide.”
In second place was Telcel, a wireless telecommunications company owned by América Móvil (NYSE:AMX), Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s brainchild, with a “brand value” of $6.58 billion; the third position was taken up by Brazil’s most popular beer Skol, with a brand value of $6.52 billion (a 39 percent spike from last year).
Petrobras, which was the top brand in 2012, was relegated to fourth place, with a value of $5.76 billion – a 45 percent plunge from last year, largely attributable to “company finances and ... largely caused by the devaluation of commodities across international markets.”
In a report in Época Negócios, a Brazilian financial newspaper, Millward Brown also pointed to social instability in the country and interventionist measures by the Brazilian government as reasons behind the drop in Petrobras’ brand value.
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Following on the list were Chile’s retail and furniture giant Falabella (brand value of $5.61 billion), Brazil’s investment bank Banco Bradesco (NYSE:BBD) ($5.49 billion), and Colombia’s oil company Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC) ($5.14 billion). The last three positions in the top 10 comprised mobile phone company Claro –which is also a part of América Móvil-- ($4.45 billion), Brazil’s Itaú Bank (NYSE:ITUB) ($4.01 billion) and Colombian beer brand Águila ($3.90 billion).
(Itau’s brand value also plummeted by 39 percent over the past year, but remained in the top 10).
Millward Brown pointed out that as a whole, the total value of the top 50 brands in 2013 added up to $135.3 billion, just a slight dip from last year’s $135.7 billion.
“Despite the ongoing economic crisis and other factors that had a negative impact on economies in Latin America – including inflation and the fall in commodity prices – the total value of the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands has only declined slightly in the last year,” said Fabian Hernandez, CEO of Millward Brown Latin America, in a statement.
“This shows how strong brands are able to minimize the impact of unfavorable macroeconomic conditions, and deliver a strong business performance.”
On the whole, Millward Brown indicated that Mexico has overtaken Brazil to become the Latin country with the largest percentage of the total brand value of the Top 50. Mexican brands, the study noted, contributed to almost one-third (32 percent) of the total value, as “Mexico’s proximity to the U.S. and its high number of international brands enabled it to benefit from recovering economies.”
BrandZ, the tool used by Millward Brown to compile the list, is a brand management index that takes into account business trends and consumption changes in 31 countries, comparing more than 23,000 brands. It regards brand value as a financial value, an estimation of the earnings that a brand is expected to generate.