Press Release

December 06, 2018

Dutch brands perceived as the most innovative in Europe as technology dominates the ranking

Dutch brands are punching above their weight compared to the rest of Europe as the Netherlands upholds its long tradition as one of the world’s leading trading nations. The inaugural BrandZ™ Top 30 Most Valuable Dutch Brands 2019 report, announced today by WPP and Kantar, has a total brand value of $93 billion and is stronger and more valuable than brand rankings from larger economies such as Spain, Italy, Australia and Indonesia. Furthermore, the total value of the Dutch Top 30 is proportionally larger, when compared to overall GDP, than the top 30 brands in the UK, Germany or France.

Consumers rated Dutch brands as highly innovative, beating the scores of most other European countries and equalling those of Germany for innovation. Home-grown tech brands like (No.12, $1.05 billion) and (No.3, $11.87 billion) are now reshaping how European consumers eat and travel. Dutch innovation has allowed newer upstarts, such as file-transferring site WeTransfer and Additive Industries, a leader in the 3D printing space, to stand out in their respective categories.

Oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell tops the first BrandZ Dutch ranking at No.1 with a brand value of $20.66 billion. Beer brand Heineken is second with a value of $11.88 billion, closely followed by travel e-commerce company,

The BrandZ™ Top 30 Most Valuable Brands study combines consumer interviews about thousands of brands with validated financial data to rank the Netherlands’ most valuable brands. It analyses their strengths, identifies the key forces that are driving brand value growth in this market, and is the first of what will be an annual study tracking and predicting changes in the evolving trajectories of the Netherlands’ most valuable brands.

The Netherlands benefits from having a unique collection of brands – some with great heritage and some from the 21st century that have, in a short time, grown into titans. The successful rise of brands such as and ranked in the Top 30, highlights how the entrepreneurial spirit of the region sits comfortably alongside beloved beer brand Brand (No, 29, $120 million), the oldest brand in any of the BrandZ rankings around the world.

Bram van Schaik, CEO Kantar Insights Netherlands, said: “The Netherlands is fortunate to have a collection of trusted brands that have long-standing national heritage, while newer disruptor brands are able to succeed in a region that incentivises entrepreneurship. From the docks of Rotterdam to the runways of Schiphol, Dutch excellence is being exported worldwide and embraced by consumers.

“Though modest in size, the Netherlands has always performed well compared to other regions in the global economy and continues to move confidently into the future. Innovation is at the heart of everything Dutch brands do and it’s important for businesses not just to reach their audience through memorable communications, but also to move them with strategies rooted in cultural insight.

The 2019 BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Dutch Brands 




Brand Value (US$ billion)


Royal Dutch Shell

Oil & Gas







Travel Agencies












Telecom Providers












Telecom Providers






Of the twelve categories represented in the ranking, Tech & Online Services dominate, contributing over $23 billion – a quarter of the ranking’s total value, while Banks contribute the second largest volume share (20%). Beer is the largest category by the number of brands represented with six brands, including Heineken (No.2, $11.88 billion) and the beer label Brand (No.29, $120 million), which has a heritage spanning more than 600 years.

Established iconic brands like Philips (No.5, $10.71 billion), Shell, and Heineken are continuing to embrace innovation, venturing into cutting-edge health technology, liquefied natural gas, and the booming Chinese market, respectively. Dutch banks ING (No.4, $10.73 billion) and ABN AMRO (No, 8, $3.39 billion) are pioneering new approaches to mobile banking and payments, finding willing partners in tech-savvy Dutch shoppers, who lead Europe in their adoption of contactless purchasing.

David Roth, WPP commented:“Many of the ranking’s brands score highly on both innovation and purpose; a combination that feels distinctively Dutch.While BrandZ global data shows that brands perceived as innovative grow seven times faster than other brands, in a mature and crowded market like the Netherlands, having a strong purpose is helping brands to stand out, resonate with consumers and deliver growth.”

Other trends highlighted in this year’s BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable Dutch Brands report and ranking are:

  • Active living and conscious eating – In a bid to meet the Government’s proposal of increasing a vegetarian diet, retailer brands such as Albert Heijn (No.14, $916 million) are investing in more vegan take-away options, while Dutch chocolate maker Tony’s Chocolonely sells ‘100 percent slave-free’ confectionery, choosing to deal directly with local cocoa farming groups.
  • Cash-free is king – The Netherlands is one of the most cash-free countries in Europe, with cash transactions making up only 45% of retail purchases. Dutch banking brands are at the forefront of mobile payments technology in Europe; ABN AMRO has found success with its Tikkie app at home, while ING is a major investor in the Payconiq and Payvision platforms.
  • Sustainable and secure society – The Netherlands has a global reputation as a leader in progressive sustainability and public policy and gender equality. There is room for brands to tell stories about how they are supporting and empowering their own workforces as part of efforts to create a more equitable society. Commitment to serving a higher environmental purpose extends beyond what is visible to the eye. In the banking sector for example, brands like SNS (No.25, $199 million), ABN AMRO, and Rabobank (No.7, $4.10 billion) have begun to define and implement sustainable finance guidelines, while Triodos and ASN (No.30, $106 million) are world leaders in the green investing field.
  • Addressing the whole country – Unlike in many European countries, there is no single business capital in the Netherlands. Dutch brands cannot capture an “urban audience” by only targeting an archetypal Amsterdam local. Brands should ensure that their planning encompasses the scope of what it means to live in the Netherlands today, without overlooking the country’s many small towns and rural areas.

The BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable Dutch Brands report and ranking, as well as other brand insights for key regions of the world and 18 market sectors, 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.