Apple has been named as the UK’s top Business Superbrand following a poll of B2B marketing experts and thousands of individual business professionals.
The influential annual Superbrands list saw Rolls-Royce Group fall 15 places after two years at the helm. As the top-ranked British manufacturer and engineer, the brand retained its position in the top 20 for the seventh year in a row but shared in a poor performance for the sector in general, which saw fellow engineers BAE Systems and Boeing drop out of the top 20 altogether.
The official top 20 Business Superbrands for 2013 are:
2. British Airways
5. Virgin Atlantic
9. London Stock Exchange Group
16. Rolls-Royce Group
17. Royal Mail
Key Trends and Findings
• Brands enabling businesses to transact online or fulfil online orders grew stronger: Google, Visa, MasterCard, FedEx, Royal Mail, PayPal and DHL made up over a third of the top 20.
• Banks made a comeback earlier than expected and were amongst the biggest movers within the top 500. Lloyds was up 287 places to 96th and NatWest up 315 places to 117th. RBS were back in the top 500 at 180th having not featured since 2009, whilst HSBC, Barclays and The Co-operative all rose up the charts from last year.
• The BP brand recovered well from Deepwater Horizon, placing 11th after a year out of the top 500. Fellow energy company Shell continued to perform strongly, moving up 11 places to seventh.
Battle of the best
• UK flag carrier British Airways placed second, widening the gap with transatlantic competitor Virgin Atlantic, who placed fifth, up one from last year.
• Whilst Apple topped the rankings, Samsung jumped a huge 91 places to join the tech giant in the top 20. This closed the gap between the two, enforcing Samsung’s threat to its US rival. Nokia however remained well outside the top 20 but did move up 19 places to 41st. In comparison, BlackBerry slipped 19 places to 42nd having been in the top five two years ago.
• MasterCard placed 10th, up from 27th last year, whereas Visa re-confirmed its superiority in the sector, having moved up to 4th place from 9th.
• Meanwhile in the highly-competitive delivery services category, FedEx continued to lead in 15th place, with Royal Mail – a new entry to the top 20 – at 17th, and DHL in 20th place.
Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the Superbrands Expert Council said: ‘This year’s results are a nod to the importance of those businesses supporting the virtual economy, which is likely to continue outpacing the wider business services market. The results also show Apple’s dominance of the technology sector coming under increasing pressure from Samsung and second placed British Airways continuing to outperform bitter rival Virgin Atlantic. Perhaps the most surprising element of the results was the significant reputational bounce back enjoyed by the UK’s leading banks’.
The Business Superbrands survey has been compiled since 1995 and is the benchmark annual B2B brand barometer. Concurrent with this survey, Superbrands UK also published the 2013 Consumer Superbrands listing topped by Swiss watchmaker Rolex.