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Commercial services brands in slow recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

The world’s largest commercial services brands are beginning to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic – but four of the top five most valuable commercial services brands have not yet recovered to pre-pandemic value, according to a new report from Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Over the past year, most brands in the industry have returned to growth, with 85 of the top 100 brands growing in value this year. This is a clear indication that the industry has turned the corner after widespread disruption over the last two years.

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

Alex Haigh, Director of Brand Finance, commented:

“The commercial services industry is reenergised as the economy bounces back from the impact of COVID-19. The diversity in the sector spanning across FinTech, business support, security and human resource services is key to the growth of the industry as a whole.”

Deloitte retains title of most valuable & strongest commercial service brand

Deloitte (brand value up 12% to US$29.8 billion) sits at the top position in the Commercial Services 100 ranking with a 12% year-on-year brand value growth at US$29.8 billion, but is still below its pre-pandemic value of US$32.4 billion. Despite the impact of the pandemic, in 2021 Deloitte exceeded the US$50 billion revenue mark. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the demand for consulting services has been disrupted as many brands undertook significant transformation.

In addition to calculating brand value, Brand Finance also 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. Deloitte is also the strongest brand in the ranking with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 90.2 out of 100 and a corresponding brand rating of AAA+.

A key brand driver as Deloitte’s customers increase environmental, social and governance considerations has been Deloitte’s strengthening commitment to meeting its net zero carbon targets. The consulting giant has pledged to achieve a net zero status by 2030 by deploying many internal policy changes, including a dedicated carbon offset strategy to offset emissions which assist in transformation from fossil fuel reliant models to renewable energy.

New entrants into the ranking hail from diverse sectors

The commercial services sector is expanding its scope as the new entrants into the Commercial Services 100 ranking belong to diverse sectors spanning across IT consulting, FinTech, technical support services and data providers. The increasing diversity of brands is a testament to the growth of the sector over the pandemic and its importance to business partners and stakeholders.

The new entrants in the ranking include Booz Allen an IT consulting firm (valued at US$3.5 billion), Global Payments a FinTech service provider (valued at US$3.2 billion), Synchrony a consumer financial services brand (valued at US$3.0 billion), Refinitiv a financial market data provider (valued at US$1.7 billion) and Teleperformance a technical support services provider (valued at US$1.4 billion). Commercial services brands are successful in employing their existing expertise in adjacent markets and providing services that are in high demand.

Human resources brands Randstad and Recruit dominate fastest growing commercial services brands

Recruit (brand value up 50% to US$2.5 billion) and Randstad (brand value up 28% to US$4.3 billion) provide services including human resource consultancy, job boards staffing services, job advertisements and employer review platform. Through the course of the pandemic working models have been questioned and businesses are starting to recognise the power of the global talent pool.

There has been an incremental growth of human resource services as businesses began to actively hire global talent in the past year. Human recourse service providers play an instrumental role in enabling employment opportunities worldwide and are growing in scale and service offerings. The impact of global lockdowns, new and flexibility in working models has enabled the Great Resignation wherein employees chose to move to jobs that provide a higher pay and more favourable benefits. Online services provided by human resources services such as Randstad and Recruit are well positioned to meet growing demands in the sector.

Top 100 commercial services brands average 12% growth this year

The top 100 brands in the commercial services sector have been growing for the past year with innovation in the sphere of payment gateways, online banking and accounting. Consistent with the upward trend in the market, two the parent companies of two brands in the ranking – S&P Global (brand value US$9.9 billion, up 14%) and IHS Markit (brand value US$2.2 billion, up 27%) closed a merger earlier this year to join forces. The combined entity will need to manage the two brands to maximise value in the years ahead.

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