Global Rankings 2013

2013 - Annual Rankings: UK Top Improvers

(1) Netflix (#5 in 2012)
Netflix moves up from 5th to this year’s number one top Buzz improver. The service which allows customers to watch dozens of popular titles online has also seen its popularity boosted by the cult hit ‘Breaking Bad’, which UK fans were able to stream exclusively on Netflix hours after the show appeared on American Television.

(2) MoneyGram (new entry)
The money transfer company MoneyGram is the highest new entry this year, and has outperformed its category rivals. This is despite admitting to money laundering and wire fraud violations in 2012. One major development this year saw a partnership with retail giant Debenhams, allowing customers to transfer money in store.

(3) Santander (new entry)
The bank with the most improved Buzz score in 2013, Santander utilised three of Britain’s major sport stars – Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jenson Button and Rory McIlroy - for an advertising campaign to support its innovative 1-2-3 account. This positive move helped combat compensation payments, job losses and a market floatation postponement but overall buzz remains negative.

(4) Barclays (new entry)
Like Santander, Barclays has had its share of controversy in the last couple of years, most notably the Libor scandal that led to the resignation of its CEO in 2012. However it has been less in the news in 2013 meaning its Buzz score, though still negative, has improved year on year.

(5) London Underground (#6 in 2012)
Halfway through the year and London Underground was top spot of Buzz improvers as it capitalised on the Olympic legacy and its 150th birthday celebrations. However, strikes, planned job cuts and delays due to redevelopment have weighed down its brand perception scores. The evolution of the tube, including fare changes and all night service on weekends will no doubt influence the Underground’s score in the coming months and beyond.

(6) Heathrow Airport (new entry)
As always where Heathrow is concerned, 2013 saw a great deal of discussion concerning its expansion. Heathrow earns more than £1.7bn in retail sales each year and serves customers from more than 180 destinations. The decision to open a new John Lewis store in Terminal 2 generated further interest in its retail service offering. Additionally in June it was announced that Terminal 2 would be renamed ‘The Queen’s Terminal’.

(7) Royal Bank of Scotland (new entry)
RBS has had a pretty rotten year, from having to compensate customers after the ‘cyber Monday’ glitch on the busiest shopping day of the year, to being fined for its role in the Libor rate scandal. However, its Buzz score has shown some improvement though it remains strongly negative, demonstrating that 2013 was another very poor year for the bank but perhaps not quite as bad as 2012 when viewed on this measure.

(8) La Senza (new entry)
La Senza’s position in this year’s list shows that the brand is recovering after being put into administration. It re-focussed its efforts on attracting younger customers whilst attempting to win back shoppers who had moved away from the brand.

(9) Goldman Sachs (new entry)
Another finance brand that was tied in the minds of many to the global financial collapse, appears to be starting to repair the damage to its brand. Goldman Sachs had a tricky start to the year with lawsuits over ‘sweetheart’ tax deals and revelations concerning bonuses. Its recovery has compared well to competitors however.

(10) (new entry)
The online car sales website was involved in a Twitter episode that went viral, involving a user who attempted to sell a toy car on the site as a hoax. Accused of responding in a humourless manner, it reacted by setting up a website especially for toy cars that would donate proceeds to charity, thereby turning a potential PR disaster into marketing success.

UK Top Buzz Improvers
UK Top Buzz Improvers

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 improvers chart ranks the brands with the highest increase in Buzz between January - December 2013 and the same period in 2012.

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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