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British Airways continues to soar above all others, securing a third year atop the Superbrands rankings.

Posted: 22nd February 2016

LEGO and Dyson challenge the leader –
– The under-fire BBC drops dramatically –
– The ‘established elite’ consolidate their position in a conservative, post-crisis environment –

The remarkable performance of British Airways continues as the ‘national airline’ retained number one position in the 21st annual Superbrands listing, completing a hat trick of number ones. The airline managed to fend off nearly 1,600 brands in the annual survey and was deemed by the voting British public to represent quality, reliability and distinction – the three facets inherent in a Superbrand.

Rolex retained second position, also for the third year running, but faced increasing competition from third placed LEGO, which jumped up eight places. Also on the up are Dyson which, following high profile advertising campaigns fronted by eponymous entrepreneur James Dyson, climbed ten places to fourth, its highest ever position in the survey.

Despite being placed in the Top 5 for eight of the past nine Superbrands surveys, the BBC fell out of the Top 20 entirely for the first time. The attention on the BBC’s funding, perceived ‘attacks’ by the government and negative perceptions of its coverage of the Scottish independence debate might have taken a toll.

The official Top 20 Consumer Superbrands for 2016 are:

  1. British Airways
  2. Rolex
  3. LEGO
  4. Dyson
  5. Gillette
  6. Mercedes-Benz
  7. Apple
  8. Jaguar
  9. Kellogg’s
  10.  Andrex
  11.  Nike
  12.  Heinz
  13.  Coca-Cola 20. Microsoft
  14.  John Lewis
  15.  Häagen-Dazs
  16.  Google
  17.  Virgin Atlantic
  18.  Marks & Spencer
  19.  Amazon.co.uk
  20.  Microsoft

The Top 20 remains relatively consistent year-on-year. The four new entrants are all re-entries into the top group, suggesting that the years of financial crisis have seen voters shun relatively new brands – however disruptive they are– for the comfort of the traditional establishment
Stephen Cheliotis, Chief Executive of The Centre for Brand Analysis, which compiled the results on behalf of Superbrands UK, said “The rejection of the new for trusted, traditional brands continues to defy expectation that some challengers, such as technology enabled or social based brands, would break through. In fact the reverse is true, with conservatism evident among the British public after years of crisis. Although change may be accelerating in many markets, changes in perception are much slower to come through. Consumers are continuing to seek out familiar brands with which they have an emotional connection.”

Key Trends and Findings
Britons turning to traditional, proven brands

 Despite mixed business performances, heritage brands continue jostling among themselves for a Top 20 berth. Heinz, Jaguar and Marks & Spencer all re-entered the Top 20, replacing stalwarts including Boots, BMW and Fairy. Goodwill is slowly built and is equally slowly lost, especially in the current environment. This continues to afford established brands an important advantage that helps them offset major market changes.

Tech giants losing momentum

 The biggest faller within the Top 20 was US tech giant Microsoft, which dropped 16 places.
 Although rising two places to 16th, Google remains well off its historical highs.
 Younger peers, such as Facebook, are nowhere near the Top 20.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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