Several retailers have featured highly in a new survey published today by research group YouGov, which asked consumers to name their favourite brands in the UK.
E-tail giant Amazon and high street mainstay Marks & Spencer (M&S) finished second and third in the top 20 list for 2011, which also contained fellow retailers John Lewis (7th), Boots (8th), Sainsbury’s (10th), Thorntons (11th) and Waterstones (17th).
Topping the poll was online behemoth Google with an index score of 60.1, while broadcaster BBC, food manufacturer Heinz and electricals giant Sony also featured in a top six unchanged since last year.
While retailers remain well represented around the summit of the list, only one saw its score improve since the last poll for 2010, with Amazon slightly closing the gap on Google at the top.
Sarah Murphy, YouGov’s Associate Director of BrandIndex, said: “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.”
Waterstones was one of only three brands within the top 20 that dropped places on last year, with customer perceptions of the business undoubtedly knocked by its forced sale to A&NN Capital Fund Management by under-pressure entertainment retailer HMV and the closure of many of its stores.
M&S will be pleased that its large investment in advertising and re-branding have not damaged the consumer support of the company while Sainsbury’s will be pleased once again to be the only ‘big-four’ grocer to make the list.
Brand appeal does not always translate into retail sales as Thorntons’ recent trading figures show, but the high consumer perception of its business should reassure the chocolate maker that its products have the strength to support a much-needed retreat from the high street and re-focusing on wholesale.