Customer loyalty: Who are the real Superbrands?

28th Apr 2015

Since 1995, industry experts and a panel of consumers have whittled down a shortlist to select the strongest brands in the UK; the Superbrands. 

The top Consumer Superbrands 2015, as tracked within BrandIndex, included:

  1. Apple
  2. BBC
  3. BMW
  4. Boots
  5. British Airways
  6. Coca Cola
  7. Dyson
  8. Gillette
  9. Google
  10. John Lewis

Moving up and down this list of globally recognised megabrands clearly demonstrates the changing consumer landscape; but we wonder if these are really the brands that the UK are excited about or whether they are just what we’ve come to expect. We’re disappointed so few are home grown British brands, and with 1,500 brands for the panel to review we can’t help not being surprised that 85% of the superbrands are from the first half of the alphabet!

So here is an alternative; Ikano Insight has used YouGov’s internationally recognised BrandIndex tool which interviews thousands of members of the public every day, to identify our winners from the Superbrands shortlist. They’re all great in one way or another, ensuring customers keep coming back and demonstrating real long term loyalty; you don’t need everyone to be aware of your brand if your core customers keep returning and promote you to their network.


These brands were rated by Ikano Insight using YouGov BrandIndex’s scores which asks respondents the following questions:

  • IMPRESSION: “Which of the following brands do you have a generally POSITIVE/NEGATIVE feeling about?
  • QUALITY: “Which of the following do you think represents GOOD/POOR quality?
  • VALUE: “Which of the following brands do you think represents GOOD/POOR
  • VALUE FOR MONEY? By that, we don’t mean “cheap” or “expensive”, but that the brands offer a customer a lot in return for the price paid
  • SATISFACTION: “Which of the following brands would you say that you are a SATISFIED/DISSATISFIED customer?
  • PURCHASE INTENT: “Of the brands considered, which are you most likely to purchase?’
  • BUZZ: “Over the PAST TWO WEEKS, which of the following brands have you heard something POSITIVE/NEGATIVE about (whether in the news, through advertising, or talking to friends and family)?
  • REPUTATION: “Imagine you were looking for a job (or advising a friend looking for a job). Which of the following companies would you be PROUD/EMBARRASSED to work for? Imagine you (or your friend) were applying for the same sort of role at the following companies that you currently have or would apply for.

The scores are for those respondents already aware of the brands, rather than all respondents.

The net Scores (ranging from -100 to +100) are averaged out over the six weeks up to 17th April 2015.

Here are the brands that might not be top for awareness; the figures below are only for respondents who were already aware of the brands. However, amongst that group they demonstrate exceptional brand health through measures such as sustained quality perceptions, strong satisfaction or likelihood to be recommended and all the key contributors to loyalty. Even though many of these success stories are now internationally owned or recognised, they all originated right here in Great Britain. 

Ikano Insight’s alternative Superbrands top ten

1. Green & Blacks  (1991, London)

While awareness might be nothing compared to the Superbrands, delve deeper into core brand indicators and this organic chocolate brand is in fantastic shape across the board. Satisfaction scores, a measure of how many people are satisfied vs. dissatisfied, is a strong 62.8, ahead beyond other chocolate brands like Cadburys at 56.0 and in a different league to Superbrand Coca-Cola at 36.4.

Add in loyal customers eager to recommend, and we can’t wait to see how the brand value is leveraged as they embark on their first TV campaign.

2. Robinsons (1823, London)

A consistent brand strategy including 80 years of Wimbledon sponsorship has clearly benefitted this squash brand that started out with Barley Water.  Even after all this time we see continued positive trends over the past year. This includes Quality perception, a measure of how many people think the brand represents good vs. poor quality, moving from 33.8 to 42.0, overtaking Superbrand Gillette at 36.4. Continued innovation will surely only increase the impressive fact it’s already drunk by half of all UK households.

3. Pimm’s (1823, London)

The sun is shining – it’s Pimm’s O’Clock! While the BrandIndex figures clearly demonstrate the seasonality of its appeal, the Superbrand scoring criteria of ‘advantage over competitors’ cannot be better demonstrated than with this gin-based tipple, initially developed to aid digestion. Every year we see the Purchase Intent, a measure of which brands are most likely to be purchased by the YouGov Panel, bounce back as strongly as the previous year, peaking at a score of 9.1 last year on July 18th while Superbrand Coca-Cola stood at 9.0. This brand is clearly here to stay as long as the sun keeps on shining.

4. Marmite (1902, Burton-upon-Trent)

Branding so powerful it’s had a recent revival in home interiors, our figures show the love for this product clearly outweighing the hate. Satisfaction score, a measure of how many people are satisfied vs. dissatisfied, currently stands at a strong 67.6, ahead of technology giant Apple at 63.2!

Marmite Easter eggs selling out at supermarkets will have impacted the Buzz score, a measure of hearing something positive vs. negative about a brand in the last 2 weeks, which currently stands at 5.7 (vs. Superbrand BBC on 3.5). This shows that no matter what our opinion might be this is certainly a brand we like to talk about!  

5. Pret-A-Manger (1984, London)

Few UK High Streets have escaped the explosion in popularity of European-style coffee houses, all suitably named but all home grown; Costa Coffee, Café Nero and Pret-a-Manger all served their first caffeine-hits from London streets and are now part of our everyday lives.

The last 2 years of data shows Costa and Pret-A-Manger in a rolling battle for top-spot with similar Quality and Satisfaction scores, however Pret-A-Manager is our winner due to consistently higher Value ratings. This measure looks at how many people think the brand represents good vs. poor value for money, Pret-A-Manger currently stands in relatively neutral position at -0.2 while Costa Coffee has a score of -7.1. 

6. Dunelm (1979, Leicester)

Significant growth in Quality score, a measure of how many people think the brand represents Good vs. Poor quality, are particularly impressive when comparing to major furniture retailers which can now be considered Dunelm’s core competitors. Dunelm’s Quality score is currently a strong 27.4 where Furniture Village struggles at just 9.9.

Impressive online growth and new store openings featuring celebs such as Raymond Blanc show Dunelm has successfully repositioned itself as a major player since losing the ‘Mill’.   

7. Greggs (1939, Tyneside)

While some brand health scores leave room for improvement this bakery chain has achieved great Value scores, a measure of how many people think the brand represents good vs. poor value for money consistently better than the coffee house brands. At 23.8 this score is higher than Superbrand Boots at 23.4. As Greggs moves on with its healthy makeover we expect scores across the board (such as recommendation) to follow suit. 

8. Yorkshire Tea (1886, Harrogate)

Strong statistics across the board, with standout in Reputation scores – a measure of  how many people would be proud vs. embarrassed to work for a company. With a score of 26.3 this is on par with Superbrand Boots at 26.5. A recent tree-planting campaign with children’s character The Gruffalo should secure this brand’s family appeal and bring home their sustainability values. 

9. Jaguar (1922, Blackpool)

Jaguar’s Impression score, a measure of how people have positive vs. negative feelings about a brand, stands at 38.7, ahead of Superbrand BMW at 35.6. This demonstrates that Jaguar is reinforcing its leading luxury position as it continues fast past innovation with new and face-lifted models hitting the market. We tend to agree with Jaguar bosses that 2015 will be the year of the cat.

10.  Ovo Energy (2009, Bristol)

Our one to watch. The youngest brand in our top 10 but quick to steal the top spot on Satisfaction scores from all other well established energy supply companies. This measure of how many people are satissfied vs. disattisfied with a brand stands at a whopping 79.1, a significant stride ahead of Superbrand John Lewis at 71.1!

In five years’ time we expect this brand to be as well recalled and understood as the big boys. With recent investment from former US vice President Al Gore we are looking forward to seeing what this brand will achieve over the coming months.

Karen Faulkner is lead marketing strategist at Ikano Insight.

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