2012 - Mid-Year UK Top Buzz Rankings

BBC iPlayer

Whilst the BBC has experienced some highs and lows over the last 12 months ranging from high praise about its coverage of the Royal Wedding through to public condemnation about its reporting at the Jubilee Pageant, BBC iPlayer has gone from strength to strength. Praised for its positive and engaging user experience, iPlayer recently added non-BBC content to its on-demand catch-up TV service in a move dubbed 'Partner Linking' with six new videos on demand (VOD), services are now accessible through the iPlayer portal. The BBC won brand of the Year at the 2012 Marketing Week Engage awards, underpinning its status as UK masterbrand, no doubt in part thanks to the contribution of the iPlayer.


Though Amazon has dropped to second place, in terms of Buzz ranking, it continues to dominate the BrandIndex rankings, as well as the online retail space in general. A recent signing with Waterstones, to sell its e-reader, alongside the imminent launch of an Android Appstore in Europe further positions themselves as a player – not just in the online retail space – but in the broader tech space.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer comes in at third place, off the back of positive consumer sentiment and strong marketing activity. However, challenges lie ahead in the second half of 2012: with the recent announcement of disappointing sales results, the high-street retailer need to look at issues such as its clothing ranges and how it can be kept consistently on trend.
The repositioning of M&S Money to M&S Bank and the introduction of in-store branches will further consolidate M&S position in the lives of its consumer base.

John Lewis
Middle England’s favourite department store continues to deliver in areas where it has long been strong, as well as building new strengths for example, with award-winning creative marketing and advertising campaigns. This is a brand which manages to keep its identity modern and up to date whilst not being overly subservient to its brand heritage.

Continuing to lead the way in the growing trend of DIY finance, MoneySavingExpert.com and its ubiquitous consumer champion frontman Martin Lewis continue to go from strength to strength. We see the trend for consumers looking for advice from such sources and other peer–to-peer platforms increasing considerably over time. With the introduction of RDR, whilst some people will be willing to pay £250-500 for investment advice, the likelihood is that more and more people will seek out such alternative means financial education, opinion and guidance.

The world’s most valuable company continues to succeed in the smartphone, tablet and computer market. New releases of its smartphone and tablet each year make those looking to purchase in the future stick with the Apple ecosystem and purchase the newest model. Loyalty amongst iPhone owners is three times as high as its nearest competitor, and recommendation for iPads mean that no other tablet can get close. However, like any market leader, how long can Apple lead in markets of intense competition, and can Apple TV take off?

Even without Jamie Oliver, the brand continues to carve out a strong position in the quality side of the grocery market, while keeping competitive with its ‘Brand Match’ campaign. Sainsbury’s has been able to strike a balance between offering affordability and quality. The supermarket’s convenience and online offerings further add to its growth in the UK market.

Cathedral City
Still riding on the wave of a well-designed advertising campaign, the cheese producer proves what a well-designed TV campaign can deliver when it reaches the watercooler. John Lewis has shown what tears during primetime can achieve but this brand managed it in a competitive and traditionally non-differentiated market. A great success.

New marketing campaigns, new devices and an innovation to rival Apple sees Samsung’s Buzz score enter the top 10 for the first time. After years of trailing competitors in the smartphone and electronics market, the rise of its Galaxy devices, and its lead in the TV (and particular Smart TV) market sees the Korean manufacturer rightly deserve a top 10 position.

Google maintains a top 10 position, just. However, it’s drop in rank indicates that consumer perception of the brand – which many perceive as “untouchable” – is starting to wane. 2012 has not been viewed as a great year for the tech giant; privacy issues earlier in the year, combined with Google+ being widely regarded as a flop, may have dented the brand’s image. Despite this, Google remains in a strong position: the recent Motorola acquisition further strengthens its offering (due, in part, to newly-acquired patent access), and innovations such as Google Glasses reinforce the brand’s status as pioneers in its field.

UK Top Ten Buzz Scores
UK Top Ten Buzz Scores

These brands were rated using YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score which asks respondents, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"

The Buzz Rankings chart shows the brands with the highest average Buzz scores between January and June 2012. The Buzz improvers chart ranks the brands with the highest increase in Buzz between Jan - June 2012 and the same period in 2011. Both scores are representative of the general population.

All Buzz scores listed have been rounded to a single decimal place, however, we have used additional precision to assign ranks.

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