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Brand Finance ranks Boeing and Airbus grow at top of defence leaderboards after tough year

Boeing (brand value up 14% to US$15.5 billion) is the most valuable and strongest Aerospace and Defence brand in the world, according to a new report from leading brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance. As businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19, the demand for business travel is increasing in major economies, leading to a return to growth for large jet manufacturers Boeing and competitor Airbus (brand value up 45% to US$13.3 billion) in an otherwise tough year for the brand values of top Aerospace and Defence brands.

Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands to the test, and publishes around 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The top 25 most valuable and strongest Aerospace and Defence brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Aerospace and Defence 25 ranking.

At the top of the Aerospace and Defence ranking, Boeing is overcoming supply chain disruptions from its suppliers as demand for jets increases as the world travel industry reopens. In particular, Boeing is focusing on improving its supply chain with increased digitisation in the construction process. Using the Microsoft Cloud and AI services from Microsoft will help Boeing provide digital solutions to its customers in an efficient manner.

Savio D’Souza, Head of EMEA Consulting, Brand Finance, commented: “It has been a tough time for the Aerospace and Defence industry with COVID disruption deeply affecting brand values – but there is hope on the civil aviation segment as business and summer travel recovers. In the Defence segment, brands will need to carefully manage their Brand Strength to capture the public announcements of governments in the west to increase expenditure on Defence as a reaction to geopolitical tensions.”

In addition to brand value, Brand Finance determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Compliant with ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 100,000 respondents in more than 35 countries and across nearly 30 sectors.

In addition to being the most valuable brand in the ranking, Boeing is also the strongest brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 82.1 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA- brand rating. The brand has been investing in research and development around sustainable initiatives to reduce its carbon emissions by using sustainable aviation fuel for its passenger and freight airline operations. Boeing has also strengthened its brand identity by supporting humanitarian causes, most recently the Russia-Ukraine conflict by providing US$2 million towards response efforts led by various humanitarian organisations.

Airbus brand value grows by 45% to overtake Lockheed Martin in 2nd place

Airbus (brand value up 45% to US$13.3 billion) has overtaken Lockheed Martin (brand value down 4% to US$10.0 billion) to become the second-most valuable brand in the Aerospace and Defence industry. The Airbus brand is still below its pre-pandemic value but has returned to growth as consumer airlines return to ordering passenger jets. Airbus is also benefitting significantly from its increase in orders from Chinese airlines including Air China, China Southern, China Eastern and Shenzhen Airlines.

Global aerospace brand Lockheed Martin is now the third most valuable Aerospace and Defence brand in the ranking. The brand is innovating its communications and satellite imaging abilities by enabling 5G driven technology for its newly launched satellites. Lockheed Martin has also a formed strategic partnership with Amazon and Cisco for digital transformation with immersive human-machine interface technologies.

Recovery expected for the top brands that have lost over 10% of value; Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Thales

The pandemic has caused a tough business environment for Aerospace and Defence brands due to manufacturing constraints caused by global supply chain disruptions. The sector has also been impacted by geopolitical issues across the globe which introduce a unique set of problems for these brands to tackle. Due to this, top brands in the sector Northrop Grumman (brand value down 10% to US$6.4 billion), BAE Systems (brand value down 10% to US$5.1 billion) and Thales (brand value down 14% to US$3.4 billion) have experienced a loss in brand value over the year. However, these brands are expected to bounce back over the coming year as governments declare a minimum spend on defence and military expenditure.

Spirit Aerosystems and Rolls-Royce are fastest-growing brands in ranking, both growing by 50%

Sprit Aerosystems (brand value of US$1.1 billion) is the fastest-growing Aerospace and Defence brand in the ranking with a 50% increase in brand value. The brand is expanding its reach across global markets with two key acquisitions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region. The brand is increasing its global footprint by focusing on the aftermarket business including repair services for flight control in new markets after the acquisitions. The brand is moving in line with the industry trends of environmentally friendly and sustainable operations, Spirit Aerosystems has transitioned to completely wind generated energy in its headquarters located in Kansas.

Rolls-Royce (brand value of US$3.1 billion) is closely behind Spirit Aerosystems with a brand value growth of marginally below 50%. The defence wing of the brand is picking up momentum in the post COVID economy with partnerships in China, India and USA among others. The British brand is benefiting from the increased demand for flying and government investment in the Aerospace and Defence sector.

German brand MTU enters the ranking among the top 25 brands

MTU (brand value up 21% to US$768 million) is a new entrant in the Aerospace and Defence 25 ranking this year in the 24th position. The German brand has been an innovator in the aerospace industry with a focus on aerospace 3D printing, fuel efficiency projects and aircraft customisation for various stakeholders. Additionally, to reflect its commitment to sustainability, the brand has introduced a Chief Sustainability Officer in their leadership. This will help to manage the brand’s climate protection and sustainable initiatives such as an agenda to work on a carbon neutral site operation at MTU.


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