Global mining group BHP has retained the title of the world’s most valuable mining, iron and steel brand, despite recording a 3% drop in brand value to $5.8-billion.
This is according to the latest report by brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance, which highlights that BHP’s brand value was affected by several events last year, including negotiating a $5-billion lawsuit related to the Samarco disaster, battling the repercussions of the Australian bushfire and its exposure to fluctuating global trade.
BHP was overtaken by rival Rio Tinto as the sector’s strongest brand, which is based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.
Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value, Brand Finance states.
According to these criteria, Rio Tinto’s brand strength fell by 1% to $3.3-billion, but it is the world’s strongest mining, iron and steel brand with a brand strength index score of 71.8 out of 100 and a corresponding AA brand strength rating.
As with the majority of brands in the ranking, Rio Tinto has dropped in brand strength as the sector faces increased scrutiny and intolerance in the face of climate change and global heating challenges. Despite the brand pledging $1-billion over the next five years to reduce its carbon footprint and reach net zero emissions by 2050, Rio Tinto has been unable to avoid the heat from activists and green groups.
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh says that mining brands are having to negotiate the increasing intolerance of new mining projects, which underscores the need of a strong brand to keep other influential stakeholders, such as regulators, on side to maintain growth and profitability.
Further, Brand Finance states that CITIC Pacific had recorded a 25% brand value growth to $2.7-billion, simultaneously climbing two places in the ranking to eighth position. The brand has taken steps to protect itself from market uncertainty, through consistent plant acquisitions and its focus on developing the fundamentals of the business, ensuring the brand retains a competitive position in the long term.
In contrast, Germany’s Thyssenkrupp has suffered the biggest loss in brand value in the ranking, falling 18% to $2.1-billion. The steel production giant has been tackling a multitude of challenges as the industry struggles with rising costs of carbon permits and cheaper imports cutting prices. The repercussions of the US-China trade war have also severely damaged sectors the industry relies on, including the automotive and energy sectors.
Thyssenkrupp is facing management chaos and replaced its previous CEO after just 14 months. With four profit warnings issued during this time and several failed restructuring attempts and mergers, the brand dropped out of the DAX last year after more than 30 years of trading.”
With the brand currently bidding to sell its highly successful elevator division, Thyssenkrupp is fighting to push profits up to build investor trust. Brand Finance states that, if successful, the brand could see a change in fortunes this coming year, which could, in turn, boost its brand value.
Meanwhile, there are three new entrants in this year’s ranking: Newmont (brand value $973-million), Barrick Gold (brand value $651-million) and Fortescue (brand value $634 million) in sixteenth, twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth positions, respectively.
Gold mining giants Newmont and Barrick Gold have celebrated strong growth as the commodity continues to thrive, with gold prices reaching a multiyear high last year.