Credit: Angelo DeSantis/Flickr

BA tops list of 20 biggest brands in Britain

The airline's success contrasts with a poor year for Cadbury, M&S and Heinz.

by Jack Torrance
Last Updated: 30 Oct 2015

The internet's packed with 'top brands' lists as every market research firm and marketing consultancy lines up to give its two pence worth. But none come with more fanfare than the annual Superbrands survey, which has been going for 20 years and commissions an indepent survey of 2,500 members of the public to find out which brands Britons love the most.

This year’s list is topped once again by British Airways – perhaps not the sexiest of brands, but one which people respect and generally see as representative of quality and good service. The news will add cheer to BA owner IAG, which is probably still celebrating the 95% jump in profit it reported on Friday. BA also topped the ‘Business Superbrands’ list, which ranks how brands are seen by marketers and other professionals.

‘Younger brands, such as the social media giants, are sitting on the sidelines making little impact as a huge battle takes place among trusted, traditional brands seeking to remain relevant and retain their positions among the brand elite.’ said Stephen Cheliotis, chief executive of The Centre for Brands Analysis and chairman of the Superbrands Council.’

‘British Airways retaining number one spot is a great example of a much-loved traditional brand that has also refreshed, re-focussed on innovation and invested to remain attractive and relevant.’

Online brands suffered, with Google dropping 11 places to 18th and Amazon falling out of the top 20 altogether. But the more established tech giants did well. Apple, buoyed by the success of the iPhone 6, was up four places to 10th, and Microsoft was up to two places to 4th.

Household goods did fairly well, with Gillette coming seventh, Kellogg’s in 9th, Andrex in 12th. But store cupboard stalwarts Heinz and Cadbury were knocked out by the likes of Haagen Dazs and Fairy.

Most big retailers are particularly notable by their absence – no supermarkets made the list and nor did Marks & Spencer, which fell out of the top 20 for the first time since 2009. This fact will be all the more painful given the success of its rival John Lewis, which came in at 6th after failing to rank last year. Has the Great British public got a new favourite retailer?

The top 20 consumer superbrands for 2015

1. British Airways
2. Rolex
3. BBC
4. Microsoft
5. Nike
6. John Lewis
7. Gillette
8. Mercedes-Benz
9. Kellogg’s
10. Apple
11. LEGO
12. Andrex
13. Boots
14. Dyson
15. Coca-Cola
16. Fairy
17. BMW
18. Google
19. Häagen-Dazs
20. Virgin Atlantic

The top 20 business superbrands for 2015

1. British Airways
2. Apple
3. Virgin Atlantic
4. Microsoft
5. Visa
6. MasterCard 13. Rolls-Royce Group 20. Boeing
7. Google
8. FedEx
9. IBM
10. Samsung
11. Johnson & Johnson
12. BT
13. Rolls-Royce Group
14. American Express
15. Royal Mail
16. PayPal
17. BP
18. Shell
19. Bosch
20. Boeing

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Reopening: Your duty is not to the economy, it’s to your staff

Managers are on shaky ground if they think they can decide for people what constitutes...

How COVID changes the world forever: A thought experiment

Silicon Valley ‘oracle’ Tim O’Reilly imagines how different sectors could emerge from the pandemic.

The CEO's guide to switching off

Too much hard work is counterproductive. Here four leaders share how they ease the pressure....

What Lego robots can teach us about motivating teams

People crave meaningful work, yet managers can so easily make it all seem futile.

What went wrong at Debenhams?

There are lessons in the high street store's sorry story.

How to find the right mentor or executive coach

One minute briefing: McDonald’s UK CEO Paul Pomroy.