Microsoft beats Google, Lego tops Apple

London, England – Microsoft has moved from second to first place in a list of the 500 brands that the UK public thought were most reliable, distinguished and the best quality. Apple made it into the top ten for the first time, one place behind toymaker Lego. Last year’s winner, Google, drops to third place behind Rolex.

The annual analysis is carried out by The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA), which compiles a shortlist of 1,400 brands from thousands initially considered. The lowest scoring brands (around 40 percent) in the eyes of the TCBA panel are discarded and the remainder are voted on by a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 British consumers aged 18 and above. The number of consumer votes each brand receives determines its position in the final rankings and only the top 500 brands are deemed to be Superbrands.

Stephen Cheliotis, chief executive of TCBA, says aspirational and well-established brands have made gains in consumer perception ahead of firms like Google as they offer some permanence and reliability in uncertain times.

“Microsoft has done a lot with its consumer-facing operations to reclaim its top spot, whilst Google has been surrounded by controversy such as interest-based advertising and Streetview so has lost a bit of its credibility as the top super brand,” he says.

  1. Top ten brands 2009
    British Airways
    Encyclopaedia Britannica

When voting on the brands, both the TCBA experts and consumers consider the following definition: ‘A Superbrand has established the finest reputation in its field. It offers customers significant emotional and / or tangible advantages over its competitors, which (consciously or sub-consciously) customers want and recognise.’

In addition, brands are judged against the following three factors:

Quality. Does the brand represent quality products and services?

Reliability. Can the brand be trusted to deliver consistently against its promises and maintain product and service standards at all customer touch points?

Distinction. Is the brand not only well known in its sector but suitably differentiated from its competitors? Does it have a personality and values that make it unique within its marketplace?

The full list of the top 500 brands can be viewed here.