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  1. ITV Report

Most relevant brands of 2016 revealed - with bad news for banks and good news for digital services

  • By Anna Pollitt, ITV News
Apple came in as the most relevant brand, with Google taking second place Credit: Reuters

British consumers have cast their votes on the brands most relevant to their lives and the results reveal we're increasingly reliant on a virtual world - with little room for home-grown companies.

A survey of 10,000 UK consumers for Prophet's annual Brand Relevance Index found that Brits place physical products far behind digital services, with the top spots dominated by Apple, Google and Amazon as well as WhatsApp and Netflix and Spotify.

Netflix came in at number 5 on the Brand Relevance Index Credit: Reuters

Despite the country's vote to Brexit, only one homegrown brand appears in the top 10, with historic department store John Lewis ranking number 8 on the relevance radar.

Top 10 most relevant brands:

  • 1. Apple
  • 2. Google
  • 3. Amazon
  • 4. PlayStation
  • 5. Netflix
  • 6. WhatsApp
  • 7. Samsung
  • 8. John Lewis
  • 9. Disney
  • 10. Spotify
John Lewis, the 152-year-old department store, is the only UK brand in the top 10 Credit: PA

A push by British banks to re-establish themselves with consumers has not been reflected in consumer perception, with the highest ranking bank in the index, Nationwide, cashing in at a lowly 46th place.

Telecommunications companies such as BT and Vodafone did not make the top 50, while tabloid newspapers The Sun and The Mirror barely scraped into the British list of more than 225 brands across 24 industries.

Cars don’t get a look in until Ford makes an appearance in 54th place.

The only bank to crack the top 50 was Nationwide, at number 46 on the index Credit: PA

Ian Kirk, Partner at Prophet told ITV News the results are 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.

– Ian Kirk, Partner at Prophet

The index, which measures brand relevance on four factors of "customer obsession, ruthless pragmatism, pervasive innovation, and distinctive inspiration" found that despite their dominance, digital brands are still at risk of sliding down the scale.

Facebook comes in at a relatively low 80 on the list compared to its newer acquisition of WhatsApp, which pops up at an impressive number 7.

It's been a good year for WhatsApp Credit: PA

The consultancy firm's senior partner Fred Geyer said that firms which are not putting digital first are getting left behind, and the most relevant brands are the ones delivering "simple, intuitive and valuable customer experiences."

Key global findings from 45,000 consumers:

  • Lego ranks highly across the world - bucking the trend for digital preferences
  • Disney scores highly - including a number 10 spot in the UK - but surprisingly scores better with people without children
  • US consumers strongly rate homegrown franchises such as Subway, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King and KFC that don't score well in the UK, Germany or China