By Daniel Hunter

Brand Finance, the leading global brand valuation and marketing experts, have released their annual study of the top 50 most valuable brands of British origin. Shell tops the table, following a 35% jump in brand value to £19.5 billion.

The Oil & Gas giant has overtaken Vodafone and HSBC, which have both suffered major brand value falls of 10% and 17% respectively.

However, one of the clearest and most worrying trends has been the poor performance of Britain’s supermarkets. Co-op, Tesco, Morrisons and ASDA have lost a combined total of over £3 billion in brand value this year. Tesco accounts for nearly half of this fall and its troubled foray into the US market is the principle cause.

Resources were diverted to the struggling Fresh & Easy operation at the expense of UK stores, which have begun to struggle as a result — a recent Which? poll of 11,000 consumers voted Tesco the UK’s worst supermarket. Last week’s announcement from CEO Philip Clarke that Fresh & Easy will be wound down with a £1bn writeoff may be painful in the short term but is clearly a long overdue step in the revival of the Tesco brand.

Sainsbury’s was the only supermarket to buck the trend. A 3% brand value increase to £3.9 billion saw it rise by one place in the table.

“For Sainsbury’s, 2012 was a year like no other. Not only did we sponsor several key Diamond Jubilee events, our brand value rose following our landmark sponsorship of the Paralympic Games," Sainsbury’s Head of Sponsorship, Mark Given commented.

"No other brand had previously taken the opportunity to sponsor the Paralympic Games solely, and this had an extremely positive impact on how Sainsbury’s is viewed by our customers.”

Elsewhere, there were strong performances from Burberry, Rolls-Royce and Cadbury, which rose 13%, 17% and 57% in brand value respectively. For all three, Britishness is a key aspect of their appeal.

“Burberry has expertly twinned more traditional signifiers of Britishnness such as its Royal connections and the heritage of British tailoring with London’s more modern reputation as a fashion hub and home of the global elite," Brand Finance CEO, David Haigh stated.

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