Insight: Prophet- Most relevant brands of 2016 revealed with bad news for UK banks and tabloids

Global consultancy Prophet has today launched its Brand Relevance Index (BRI), a ranking of the most relevant brands in consumers’ lives today. Surprisingly, post-Brexit, only two British brands were featured in the Top 20 – department store John Lewis takes the number 8 spot, whilst the BBC sits at 19. Apple came in as the most relevant brand, with Google taking second place.

Prophet surveyed 45,000 consumers across the UK, US, Germany and China. The results of Prophet’s UK Brand Relevance Index which surveyed 10,000 UK consumers about 225 brands, revealed several interesting findings including:

  • Although Brexit may indicate that Brits believe British is best, there is little love by British consumers for home grown brands.  There was a poor show by British brands in the Top 20 – only John Lewis made it in to the top 10 (number 8) and the BBC scraped in at number 19.  In contrast, there are six German brands in the German Top 20 and 13 of the US Top 20 are US brands.
  • Britons are moving into a virtual future, but it may be a future without British brands in it.  The top spots are dominated by Apple, Amazon and Google as well as Whatsapp and Netflix, Spotify and YouTube – we are living in a virtual world where services matter and actual products rank poorly.
  • The banking sector was conspicuous by its absence. Despite many of the big banks’ focus on re-establishing themselves with consumers, the banks were overtaken by PayPal at 26. The only bank to crack the top 50 was Nationwide, trailing at 46.
  • When it came to the question of brands people can’t imagine life without, only four brands scored higher than the NHS (24), these being every day digital brands that have simply become part of our lives (Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft).
  • Spotify, YouTube, Snapchat and Nintendo ranked vastly higher with millennials than non-millennials whereas Xbox and Facebook ranked higher with non-millennials showing the importance of adjusting and adapting to each audience.
  • Despite being seemingly ubiquitous, tabloids ranked very poorly, seen as largely irrelevant by consumers with not a single title in the Top 100.
  • No telecommunication companies made the Top 50 – they have become completely irrelevant to the British public.

Ian Kirk, partner at Prophet, said: “This is a wake-up call for British business. Customers don’t care for the traditional brands in major British sectors such as finance, media and telcos. If these brands don’t take action now to become more relevant to their customers, others will. These are exciting, and perhaps dangerous, times for brands in the UK.”

Prophet found the most relevant brands to UK consumers are:

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Amazon
  4. PlayStation
  5. Netflix
  6. Whatsapp
  7. Samsung
  8. John Lewis
  9. Disney
  10. Spotify

The BRI measures the four dimensions of brand relevance that Prophet identified: customer obsession, ruthless pragmatism, pervasive innovation, and distinctive inspiration. Using these four pillars, Prophet conducted a survey of 10,000 UK consumers about more than 225 brands across 24 industries in the UK.

“We believe relevance is the single biggest determining factor for a brand’s long-term success,” said Scott Davis, chief Growth Officer at Prophet. “When a brand is relentlessly relevant, consumers cannot imagine living without it. It becomes indispensable to their lives, and that translates to a healthy bottom line and robust growth. “

Apple, one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, hit the number one spot in the UK ranking, earning the highest score in three of the four pillars of brand relevance. Google, which came in at second place, ranked the highest in the remaining pillar, pragmatism. However, low marks for emotionally connecting with and inspiring consumers stopped it from unseating Apple as number one. Amazon, however, which came in at number 3, received the highest score (73%) in the entire survey for being “available when and where I need it.”

“Overall, technology brands dominated the top ten. Companies like Amazon, Google and Netflix are delivering simple, intuitive and valuable customer experiences, and leaving behind the brands that are not thinking digital-first,” said Fred Geyer, Senior Partner at Prophet.

The BRI’s four dimensions of brand relevance are made up of 16 attributes, which measure important brand characteristics like “meets an important need in my life” or “makes my life easier.” The data shows that customer experience is critical to achieving relevance.

“The data from the BRI is so valuable because it allows us to pinpoint the exact elements of a brand that are most important to consumers. By understanding consumers’ attitudes at such a granular level, we’re able to provide business and brand leaders the actionable insights needed to grow their businesses,” added Geyer.

This is the second Brand Relevance Index from Prophet. Due to global demand, Prophet expanded the Index into four markets – the United Kingdom, USA, Germany and China. Interestingly, Apple and Amazon rank in the top three most relevant brands in the UK, Germany and United States.


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