By Maximilian Clarke
Google, Amazon and Marks & Spencer have retained their position as the UK's favourite brands, a poll suggests.
YouGov’s BrandIndex measures how consumers perceive brands on a daily basis in terms of quality, value, customer satisfaction, corporate reputation, general impression, and likelihood of consumers to recommend the brand. The average score across these six attributes is taken to create a single composite figure called the Index score.
The importance of perception and how long it takes to cultivate a positive image is highlighted by the fact that the 20 most highly-rated brands in 2011 contain only one new entrant, with the top six being the same as 2010 — BBC, Heinz and Sony again follow the top three. Dove is the only new addition to the Top 20, appearing at the expense of mobile phone operator Nokia. Dove‘s ongoing “real beauty” campaign — skillfully utilising social media — has clearly struck a chord with consumers.
Amazon, which has slightly closed the gap on Google, is only one of three brands in the Top 20 whose rating score has improved on last year. The other two are both Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands, Colgate and Cathedral City. The latter has been boosted by a huge advertising campaign, supported by fresh packaging in recent months.
Sarah Murphy, YouGov’s Associate Director, BrandIndex - “It’s been a tough year for the leading brands, very few have managed to improve their perceptions in consumers’ eyes. However, many outside the leaders have certainly bucked that trend, most notably British Airways, Android — Google’s operating system for smartphones and tablet computers — and mobile phone manufacturer HTC who achieved the highest increase in consumer ratings from 2010 to 2011.”
Alongside retail brands, FMCG brands are the most common in the Top 20, accounting for seven entries - three of which are confectionary brands; Cadbury, Thorntons and Maltesers. Four technology brands and two broadcasters (BBC and Channel 4) complete the list.
Cadbury, Waterstones and Bosch are the only three brands (aside from Nokia) to drop places within the Top 20. Three brands which seem to dominate the news and consumer discussions are, comparatively, fairly low down in the overall ratings. Apple, Facebook and Twitter are 40th, 182nd and 615th, respectively, in the list.
Microsoft was the most highly-rated brand in the IT/Office Technology sector, while Nokia took the honours in the Mobile/PDA sector, Skype in the Telecoms sector and Money Saving Expert in the online services sector. Virgin Atlantic was the most-highly rated airline; the Post Office led the way for high-street banks and Premier Inn for Travel Agents/Hotels/Guides.
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