SAP takes top spot in first BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands 2018

25 Jan 2018

Cars dominate with BMW heading a procession of five global auto brands

HAMBURG — SAP leads the first BrandZTM Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands ranking released today by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown, with Deutsche Telekom taking the second spot, highlighting the role that technology and engineering plays in many of the country’s biggest brands.

SAP topped the ranking with a Brand Value of $48.9bn USD, followed by Deutsche Telekom at $39.2bn. Car brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz took the third and fourth spots at $24.6bn and $23.6bn respectively, with the final spot in the Top 5 taken by logistics giant DHL at $18.3bn.

The ranking underlines the role of Germany as the economic engine of Europe, keeping the region on the right road in times of uncertainty. Not only is it home to many of Europe’s most valuable brands, but strong consumer demand for brands they can relate to, rather than just reliable products and services, has helped create brands with a strong sense of purpose.

Despite this strength, some German brands struggle to be perceived as innovative by consumers. Adidas, however, bucks this perception and is Germany’s most innovative brand – indexing 123 (where 100 is the average brand) with a total Brand Value of $11.8bn.

The total Brand Value of the German Top 50 brands is $305.7bn – significantly ahead of the latest UK and French BrandZ brand rankings, with the UK more than $70bn behind and France lagging by more than $60bn. Car brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen took the largest share of total Brand Value with a category value of $66.6bn, followed by Technology at $48.9bn and Telecom Providers at $41.9bn.

The ranking underlines the breadth of the German economy, with brands from 19 categories, many demonstrating a powerful sense of purpose in response to consumer demands for brands that make a contribution to making people’s lives better beyond profit. German brands score very highly for Brand Purpose, indexing on average 115 for the Top 50, where the average brand is 100, ahead of the global average and behind only the US.

If the German brand ranking displays any weaknesses, it is in perceptions of innovation among consumers. Although German brands are seen as enduring and reliable, the role of innovation at a time of global business disruption is less apparent to consumers. This challenge has been recognised by the Government, highlighting the success of businesses that have adapted to both changing technological opportunities and the changing demands of consumers. There are signs that brands are taking this on board with this year’s number one SAP actively taking steps to embrace a culture of innovation throughout the entire company.

David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP, commented: “Germany is the juggernaut at the heart of the European economy and its brands are part of consumers’ lives all around the world. The Government’s active encouragement of innovation led by Chancellor Angela Merkel and it’s recognition that this is a chance to build a new relationship with consumers is welcome as this is one area where even Germany’s biggest brands are vulnerable to global disruptive rivals.”

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable German Brands 2018
Rank 2018 Brand Category Brand value 2018 ($M USD)
Technology 48,943
Deutsche Telekom
Telecom Providers 39,215
Logistics 18,344
Retail 12,893

“Germany’s largest brands are performing impressively and this Top 50 Brand ranking is one many countries will envy. However, simply being reliable is no longer enough and brands must turbo-charge their innovation efforts and improve their ability to communicate their innovations. Many of Germany’s biggest brands are heeding the warning, but in a global market every single brand needs to take this on board,” says Bernd Buechner, Managing Director Germany at Kantar Millward Brown.

The BrandZ Germany Top 50 report also includes new research from Y&R’s BAV Group in partnership with U.S. News & World Report and the Wharton School, which examines what it takes to build powerful nation brands. According to BAV Group’s 2018 Best Countries report (LINK TBC), Germany ranks third overall out of 80 countries, excelling in economic, political, and social perceptions. The country’s powerful performance on entrepreneurship, strong job market, skilled labour force, and educated population generate a positive brand halo for Germany.

Key trends highlighted in the BrandZ Germany Top 50 study include:

  • Belief in the future – German consumers are looking for a future they can believe in and a partnership with companies they feel are listening to them and that share their views. This requires brands to have something to say that goes beyond what’s good about what they’ve made. They need to be relevant to consumers, enriching people’s lives, even in small ways. Successful German brands are telling stories that resonate with people’s lives, delivering on the increasingly complex relationship that consumers expect brands to play in their lives.
  • Trust earns recommendation – Some of the most trusted brands in Germany are also the most highly recommended by consumers, which matters enormously given the high usage of social media. Trust often takes many years to earn, and some of the most trusted German brands have indeed been around for decades – names like Lufthansa, HiPP, DHL, Adidas and Miele. These trusted brands feature among the most likely brands to be loved and recommended.
  • Time to stand out from the crowd – Tracking of leading German brands shows they are consistently good at achieving visibility among consumers and coming to mind when people think of a category. However, meaningful difference, a measure of brand equity and an ingredient in what makes strong brands valuable, has not grown at the same pace. This leaves the door open for new brands to win share by simply standing apart from the status quo.

    The BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands report and ranking and extensive analysis are available online here. The reports, rankings, charts, articles and more can also be accessed through the BrandZ app, which is free to download for Apple IOS and all Android devices from or by searching for BrandZ in the iTunes or Google Play app stores.

About the BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands Ranking

The valuation behind the BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands was conducted by Kantar Millward Brown, which specializes in brand equity research and brand valuation. The methodology mirrors that used to calculate the annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, which is now in its 12th year.

Commissioned by Kantar, the ranking combines rigorously analysed financial data from Bloomberg with the opinions of nearly 90,000 German consumers since 2006, gathered for over 10,000 brands in nearly 70 categories. The BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands is the most definitive and robust ranking of the country’s brands available, and the brands ranked all meet these eligibility criteria:

  • the brand was originally created by a German enterprise;
  • the brand is owned by a publicly traded enterprise, or its financials are available in the public domain

This approach produced a carefully conceived ranking of brands in 19 categories. The suite of BrandZ brand valuation rankings and reports are also available for China, India, Indonesia, Latin America, Brazil, Spain, France the UK, the US and Saudi Arabia.

About Kantar Millward Brown

Kantar Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specialising in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and digital, and brand equity research. The company helps clients grow great brands through comprehensive research-based qualitative and quantitative solutions. Kantar Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of WPP’s Kantar group, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies. Learn more at

About WPP

WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings of US$74 billion and revenues of over US$19 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including: advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; digital, eCommerce and shopper marketing; and specialist communications. The company employs over 200,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices across 112 countries.

WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the seventh year running. WPP was also named, for the sixth consecutive year, the World's Most Effective Holding Company in the 2017 Effie Effectiveness Index, which recognizes the effectiveness of marketing communications. In 2017 WPP was recognised by WARC 100 as the World’s Top Holding Company (third year running).

Media Contacts

Local contacts

Kantar Millward Brown
[email protected]
+49 (0) 69 73 944 187

Tim Bechtel
[email protected]
+49 (0)69 97362 23

Beatrice Richert
Kantar TNS
[email protected]
+49 (0)521 9257 659

Global contacts

Lisa Parente
Kantar Millward Brown
[email protected]
+1 203 219 6976