Smiles all round as the UK’s ‘happiest’ brands are revealed

10th Mar 2014

The results are in of the first ever consumer study to find the UK’s happiest brand. And we can reveal that occupying the number one spot on the overall chart of cheeriness is Cadbury. Maybe it was their positive glass-and-a-half-full attitude…

Andrex came in second, no-doubt thanks to the squeal-inducing puppies it’s been bringing to our TV screens for many happy years, and was closely followed by Google. Fairy came in at a favourable fourth – although the little boy who is probably still waiting to make his rocket might have a thing or two to say about that.

It comes as no surprise to see banks and political parties dominating the bottom end of the scale, with the Daily Mail sulking in the lowest spot. What may be a little surprising is the ranking of some of the major social networks; Twitter only managed to make it to the 74th spot, while Facebook came in just two places above. However, in the scale of trustworthiness, the ten-year-old social network dropped to 85th, perhaps a reflection of the recent data protection issues it's been facing.

The survey, conducted by isobel in association with Cog Research, involved an online poll of over 1250 UK consumers in December last year. It asked the respondents to rate brands against a set of ‘happy’ criteria, such as optimism and pessimism, playfulness and dullness, and trustworthiness and untrustworthiness. Not only were the responses themselves recorded, but also the speed of which each was given, in order to provide even more insight into emotional and subconscious reactions.

The findings showed an interesting gender divide, with men voting Andrex as the happiest brand (they clearly have a secret soft spot for those puppies), and women choosing Google. A disconnect between trustworthiness and happiness also came to light, with BA voted the most trustworthy airline, but Virgin Atlantic as the happiest. Ryanair, it seems, while no-doubt cheap is far from cheerful, coming in at 6th from bottom.

Discussing the reasons behind this rather unique study, Steve Hastings at isobel said: “We believe if we can connect a brand to a feeling of personal happiness, in however small a way, then that brand will have a stronger emotional connection within the consumer and stronger place in his or her long-term memory. And so that brand will be better liked, better recalled and chosen more often. So a happy brand will be a successful brand.”

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