YouGov has released its first ever UK 'brand health' rankings - essentially an attempt to measure which brands are the most well respected - and John Lewis has come out top of the pile.

Looking at the brands that feature in the UK top ten, there are two things that particularly spring to mind:  

  • The first is that the list includes a number of 'heritage' brands – not just John Lewis, but also long-standing British retailers M&S and Boots, and no less than three BBC brands.  As this article from Retail Gazette points out, this is quite different to the global rankings, which are dominated by modern tech brands such as Google and Facebook.  We can speculate on why this might be – perhaps in the UK we take longer to convince, or retain more brand loyalty where this is built up over generations?  (Dare I say it, might there also have been a resurgence in the popularity of brands that are seen as 'quintessentially British' in the wake of Brexit…?  Without any rankings from previous years to compare it to, this is - perhaps thankfully - hard to tell.)

  • The second, and more pertinent, point is that this list once again demonstrates that for a brand to be successful, it needs to have a strong identity.  For each of the brands on this list, most people will know instantly what it stands for and what differentiates its offering.  

To create a strong brand, it's vital to have a considered strategy – to know exactly what you want the brand to be known for, and what this means in practical terms.  This issue actually came up in a meeting with a client earlier today, and the point was made that sticking to your brand strategy can even mean being selective about business opportunities (particularly partnerships and licensing arrangements), pursuing only those which serve to reinforce and develop your brand's identity.  This will of course depend on the particular circumstances of the business, as well as the level of existing brand recognition, but it is food for thought nonetheless. 

If you'd like to talk about brand strategy, brand protection or how to exploit opportunities for your brand then please get in touch.