Mercedes-Benz and Rolls Royce top Superbrands charts

Heritage trounced technology in the latest Consumer Superbrands rankings, while engineering, web and personal-electronics brands dominated in the 2011 Business table.

Mercedes-Benz: leads the pack in Superbrands Consumer rankings
Mercedes-Benz: leads the pack in Superbrands Consumer rankings

Mercedes-Benz cars and Rolex watches, one might think, have no place in "austerity Britain". Yet it was these two premium brands that took first and second place in this year's Consumer Super-brands survey, the annual ranking of brands according to their reputation among consumers and opinion-formers.

In the Business rankings, meanwhile, Rolls-Royce took top spot. These results buck the trend of the past two years, when technology titans Microsoft and Google topped the Business and Consumer charts respectively.

Top 100 consumer brands

Top 100 business brands

The survey also confirms that Britain remains a nation of petrolheads, with BMW and Jaguar taking a spot in the Consumer top 10 alongside Mercedes-Benz. The latter attributes its success to investing in innova-tion and building on its 125-year heritage. "We haven't chased volume sales in the downturn, but last year we increased our market share to 3.4% - a significant figure for a luxury brand," says a spokesman for the brand.

Heritage proved a key trend in the Consumer survey, with most of the brands in the table having had a longer life span than the average consumer. It is also notable that, at a time when many mar-ket-ers seem to be obsessed by Face-book, the social net-work appeared only in the 133rd spot, 100 places below toilet-paper brand Andrex.

John Mathers, managing director of design and branding agency Holmes & Marchant, points out that in tough times, consumers return to the brands they trust and feel they can rely on. "Although it sounds a cliche, for most consumers their brand of toilet paper touches their lives more than their social network," he says.

Andrex was not the only "everyday brand" to rank highly in the Consumer Superbrands survey. Fairy, Dettol, Kleenex and Pampers ranked 23rd, 45th, 49th and 62nd respectively. "Fairy has a huge advertising heritage to draw on," says Marc Nohr, managing partner at advertising agency Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw. "In a highly com-moditised market, [it is so valuable] when consumers can remember a brand name."

Facebook was also trounced by the Royal Albert Hall, which ranked 18th, reflecting the enduring appeal of the British institution. Jessica Silvester, the London venue's marketing manager, says it has worked hard to increase the number and range of events it runs in order to reach a wider audience. At the same time, it has stead-fastly protected its heritage, as well as running a series of free events to underline its charitable status.

On the whole, though, strong British brands also scored highly in the Business Superbrands survey (see table, right). The research, which was carried out prior to the failure of a Rolls-Royce engine on a Qantas jet last November, placed the marque at the top of the chart. Cheliotis describes the company as "a great British success story" noting that its strong performance reflects the public's desire to rebalance the economy away from invest-ment banks toward engineering, innova-tion and manufacturing businesses.

Hot on the heels of Rolls-Royce is a quartet of technology powerhouses: BlackBerry, Microsoft, Google and Apple, respectively.

The annual Consumer Superbrands survey is an exhaustive process independently administered by The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA). Brands do not apply or pay to be included in the rankings. TCBA compiles lists of the UK's top consumer brands drawing on a wide range of sources from the media, blogs, sector reports and public nominations. From the thousands of brands initially considered, between 1,200 and 1,600 are shortlisted for the survey.

See this week’s Marketing for the full analysis.

Top 50 consumer brands at a glance
1 Mercedes-Benz 100.00
2 Rolex 95.81
3 BBC 94.03
4 Coca-Cola 92.30
5 Google 89.15
6 Microsoft 87.92
7 BMW 87.01
8 British Airways 84.64
9 Apple 84.04
10 Jaguar 81.81
11 Marks & Spencer 81.22
12 Royal Doulton 77.40
13 Dulux 76.92
14 Duracell 76.80
15 AA 75.89
16 Lego 75.75
17 Virgin Atlantic 75.09
18 Royal Albert Hall 74.37
19 Guinness 74.14
20 Thorntons 74.12
21 John Lewis 74.08
22 Wedgwood 73.50
23 Fairy 72.60
24 Harrods 72.18
25 Michelin 71.87
26 Kellogg's 71.54
27 Hilton 71.43
28 Heinz 70.60
29 Schweppes 69.56
30 Encyclopaedia Britannica 68.11
31 Dyson 67.95
32 Nike 67.16
33 Andrex 66.80
34 Cadbury 66.14
35 Audi 65.87
36 Nintendo 64.20
37 Häagen-Dazs 63.87
38 Fisher-Price 63.80
39 Twinings 63.52
40 Bang & Olufsen 63.30
41 Tate Galleries 63.05
42 Sony 62.68
43 Bosch 62.22
44 Adidas 61.71
45 Dettol 61.57
46 RAC 61.48
47 Glenfiddich 61.15
48 The National Lottery 60.93
49 Kleenex 59.96
50 Green & Black's 59.75

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