2013 - Global Mid-Year Review

2013 - Mid Year UK Top Buzz Improvers

#1 London Underground (#10 in 2012)
Following a successful Olympics in 2012, the capital’s transport operator had a good start to 2013 by making a great deal of its legacy as the world’s oldest subterranean railway. The 150th anniversary celebrations provided a vast array of coverage that spoke to the wonders of the system, and the running of a steam locomotive along its tracks reminded commuters that, although they may still suffer delays to their journeys, the system has come a long way over the past century and a half.

#2 Royal Mail (new entry)
Amid rumours of privatisation, threats of industrial action from staff and increases in the price of stamps, Royal Mail has improved its position in the brand rankings. This may be a case of people stopping being quite so negative about the postal service, but any upward movement at this stage would be welcomed by a government keen on moving the business into private ownership over the next two years.

#3 La Senza (new entry)
After being acquired out of administration last year, lingerie firm La Senza refocused its offer to its core young audience and undertook an extensive marketing campaign to woo back customers. It certainly seems to be working, with its brand Buzz scores lifting considerably in the first half of the year. The next six months will tell us whether the brand make-over is complete – especially among its target audiences.

#4 Santander (new entry)
Although it has had to face compensation payments to customers, job losses and postponing stock market floatation because of poor profits, Santander’s brand image has improved over the past six months. An advertising campaign featuring Olympic gold medallist, Jessica Ennis, Golfer, Rory McIlroy and Formula 1 driver, Jenson Button, seems to have helped turn the tide for the bank, however.

#5 Sky (new entry)
The Sky brand is on the up. Capitalising on hit shows such as Game of Thrones and Mad Men, and airing new British series such as Moon Boy, the media brand has established itself at the heart of British television. Through its broadband service it is well placed to capitalise on changing viewing habits and competition from other ISPs. As it gears up for the new football season and its battle with BT Vision intensifies, it may face its sternest test yet.

#6 Samsung (#6 in 2012)
The Galaxy S4 smartphone was greeted enthusiastically by critics and the public when Samsung unveiled it in April. The firm followed it up by unveiling a tablet that ran across two operating systems and also launching its NX Android camera – the first camera that thinks it’s a phone. However, despite the good coverage and positive Buzz for the brand there are some clouds on the horizon – it recently had to downgrade its profits forecast because of slowing sales meaning the second half of 2013 may be more of a challenge for the electronics manufacturer.

#7 Goldman Sachs (new entry)
Banks’ reputations are yet to recover from the financial crisis and subsequent revelations over misconduct on the money markets, such as the Libor scandal. Goldman Sachs did not escape the last six months completely unharmed with lawsuits over ‘sweetheart’ tax deals and revelations over bulging bonus pots. However, the investment bank has recovered relatively more quickly than many other financial institutions, as reflected by the improvement in its BrandIndex Buzz scores.

#8 Little Chef (new entry)
There are big changes taking place at Little Chef, the roadside dining chain that celebrates its 55th anniversary this year. Heston Blumenthal’s experimental meals have been axed from the menu and it has got back to basics by offering customers a more classic set of dishes. With speculation rife that the chain is about to be taken over by entrepreneur James Caan and expanded into new markets, its brand value is rising at just the right time.

#9 Network Rail (new entry)
Despite the announcement of billions of pounds of investment, Network Rail has been buffeted by gale of negative headlines in the first half of the year. In the last six months, its bosses received £630,000 in bonuses as the rail regulator ordered the company to find savings of £2bn as well as face a fine of up to £75m for having consistently poor punctuality. It shows how bleak Network Rail’s 2012 was that the rail infrastructure firm’s 2013 has so far been relatively good and seen an improvement in its brand scores.

#10 Ryanair (#4 in 2012)
The airline that everybody loves to hate (but still flies with) had a good start to the year. Despite facing issues in its takeover of Aer Lingus and losing a court case over compensation claims, the carrier posted a set of record profits. With plans to expand by 30% through the purchase of 175 new Boeing aircraft, the airline is on the up – and the brand’s Buzz is following suit.

UK Top 10 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 Rankings chart shows the brands with the highest average Buzz scores between January and June 2013. The Buzz improvers chart ranks the brands with the highest increase in Buzz between January - June 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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