MEXICO – Corona, the most valuable brand in Latin America, has overtaken Brazil’s Skol, which has held the title for the past two years, according to the sixth-annual BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands.

Corona took the top spot in the ranking after seeing an 8% brand value growth to US$8.3 billion, edging out Skol, which grew by just 1%.

The brand is sold in more than 180 countries and its success and global growth have been helped by Corona’s ability to generate an affiliation with the “fun-loving” attributes associated with Mexican and Latin culture.

The 2017 BrandZ LatAm ranking reflected the difficult time faced by many brands in the region with a 22% decline in total brand value.

In the 2018 ranking, the total brand value increased by 18% to US$130.8 billion, boosted by an impressive performance from the strongest and healthiest brands.

Chilean retail giant Falabella, for example, has grown its brand value by 26% to US$5.4 billion, by, among other initiatives, being the first in the category to develop an online platform with full range of products.

It was also offering a valuable experience that is continuously reviewed and combined with a clear purpose of knowing and satisfying increasingly demanding consumers.

“The power of strong brands to drive improved business performance can be clearly seen in this year’s Latin America Ranking.

While the economy may fluctuate, those brands that are strong will remain more stable in the tough times and grow faster in the good times.

The success of Falabella building its retail empire across the region is ample demonstration of the value of a strong brand,” said WPP’s David Roth.

While the economy has undoubtedly contributed to this year’s more positive ranking – GDP growth of 1.3% across the continent — it is only part of the story.

Latin American brands have also benefited from a strong affinity and pride among local consumers for brands from the region, as they believe they better understand their emotional needs.

This bodes well for the growth of own-label in a region where it has struggled. Currently just 1% of FMCG goods sold in LatAm are retailer own-brands compared to 30% in Europe.

However, with 70% of modern trade channels owned by local Latin American retailers rather than global names, modern chains such as Falabella, as well as the rapidly growing discounter sector, should push this figure higher.

The rise of local giants with strong brands that are capable of challenging global competitors is a trend that’s also been observed in other BrandZ rankings from China to Indonesia.

“Latin American brands have an in-depth understanding of their local consumers; the speed at which they can tap into local consumers’ needs with good products and strong marketing campaigns has made many of them more successful and relevant in the region than their global counterparts.

As a result, Latin Americans have great respect and pride in these brands,” said Kantar’s Eduardo Tomiya.