The results are in and the Superbrands Council’s 2014 chart has seen quite a shake-up. Here in Bristol we’ve been looking at who’s up, who’s down and what impact PR has had on their position.
British Airways has flown away with the headlines as it hit the dizzy heights of the number one consumer brand. It’s the first time the airline has made the grade and success has largely been attributed to two key factors – its popular ‘To Fly, To Serve’ marketing makeover and enduring goodwill from its sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Stunts such as the giant ‘Welcome to our Turf’ image greeting planes at Heathrow have stayed in the public’s imagination and boosted the brand’s image.
Retail brands have continued to rank well. Boots and Amazon both entered the top 20 for the first time and thanks to successful star-studded autumn/winter and Christmas campaigns, M&S has remained a fixed favourite among UK consumers.
The technology sector has taken the biggest hit in this year’s league table with Apple falling from number two in 2013 to 14 in this year’s table. The brand has been widely reported to be losing its way following the death of Steve Jobs and a perceived lack of game-changing innovation has also had an impact on the public.
Google, Facebook and Microsoft all fell in the rankings too, reflecting a tough year for technology as a whole. Each company has faced its share of public criticism around privacy following Edward Snowden’s revelations and consumers are voicing concerns about their domination of the market.
As ever, this year’s chart offers us a fantastic insight into consumer thinking and provides brands with an opportunity to take stock. With increasing power in consumers’ hands it’s vital for all companies, big or small, to look at how their reputation is performing so they can build on success and address early warning signs. It will be interesting to see where the winners and losers of the 2014 league table go next.