Amazon is catching up to Britain’s top brand

Stephan Shakespeare
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GOOGLE, Amazon and Marks & Spencer’s remain the healthiest brands in the UK in the eyes of consumers for the third year running, according to the annual YouGov BrandIndex league table of brands. They lead the way on the Index score, which is a composite of consumers’ perception of brands terms of quality, value, customer satisfaction, corporate reputation, general impression, and likelihood to recommend, measured on a daily basis.

The importance of perception and how long it takes to cultivate a positive image is shown by the fact that the top 20 contains only one new entrant.

Dove is the only new addition to the leader board, appearing at the expense of mobile phone operator Nokia. Dove‘s ongoing “real beauty” campaign – skillfully using social media – has clearly struck a chord.

The top six are exactly the same as 2010 – with BBC, Heinz and Sony following the top three – but Amazon has slightly closed the gap on Google and actually led in December. So 2012 could well see a new top brand.

The tough economic environment may explain why so few brands have managed to improve their perceptions. Amazon is one of only three brands in the top 20 whose perception score has risen. The other two are Fast Moving Consumer Goods brands, Colgate and Cathedral City – with the latter benefiting from an advertising lift.

FMCG brands are the most common in the top 20, accounting for seven entries. Four technology brands and two broadcasters (BBC and Channel 4) complete the list. Cadbury, Waterstones and Bosch are the only brands to drop places in the top 20. Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov