Top of the consumer pile, however, it’s Rolex. The Swiss watch-maker has been crowned the king of cool for 2012, beating Coca-Cola (second place) and Google (third). And MT thought we were in an 'age of austerity'. But then the British firms come in thick and fast. In fifth place, the BBC has been voted the nation’s favourite broadcaster. Dulux is sitting pretty in eighth place, Jaguar roaring into ninth and Royal Doulton, Wedgewood, the Royal Albert Hall and John Lewis taking the next four spots. Also in the top 20: engineering favourite Dyson, and, of course, Mark & Spencer. Yes, we know some of these brands are now foreign-owned, but there's no doubt their success has been - in part - down to their Britishness.
Over in the business superbrand category, the Brits give a good showing too: Rolls Royce takes the number one spot for the second year running. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly into fifth and sixth place respectively, while the London Stock Exchange is in at number seven. BAE Systems helps Rolls Royce beef up the manufacturing presence in the ranking, coming in at 13. Also in the top 20: London-based financial services firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young. And BT and Shell bring up the rear at 17 and 18.
So what exactly does this all mean? ‘A superbrand is one which constantly delivers excellence and quality,’ explains Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the Superbrands Expert Council. ‘Both the British and international brands included in the list are recognised for their rich heritage and also their continued influence on today’s consumers.’
The brands were chosen in a poll of 2,000 UK adults by The Centre for Brand Analysis. People were asked to select their favourite firms, keeping these criteria in mind: ‘A Superbrand has established the finest reputation in its field. It offers customers significant emotional and/or tangible advantages over its competitors, which customers want and recognise.’
We just have one question. Where’s Management Today?
Here are the top 20 consumer superbrands in full:
10. Royal Doulton
12. Royal Albert Hall
13. John Lewis
17. Marks & Spencer
20. Bang & Olufsen
And the top 20 business superbrands...
1. Rolls-Royce Group
5. British Airways
6. Virgin Atlantic
7. London Stock Exchange
13. BAE Systems
15. Eddie Stobart
19. Ernst & Young