Tech companies score well with businesses in UK's Superbrand 2016 survey

The top tech brands have fallen out of favour with British consumers, but remain powerful in the business-to-business market, as revealed in this week's Superbrands 2016 survey.
Written by Jack Schofield, Contributor
Superbrands 2016 results

Technology companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft are no longer the most popular consumer brands in the UK, according to the annual Superbrand survey, but they are still formidable business brands.

British Airways retained its position as the UK's most respected brand for quality, reliability and distinction. However, tech companies swept the rest of the top five in the Business-to-Business Superbrands table, with Apple, PayPal, Google and Microsoft. (PDF)

IBM, Samsung, and BT (British Telecom) also made the top 20.

Tech companies did less well in the consumer section: times have changed since Google came first in 2009, and was displaced by Microsoft in 2010. This year, Apple came highest, followed at some distance by a bottom five that included Google, Amazon.co.uk and Microsoft. (PDF)

Apple has been storming the consumer chart: it placed 14th in 2014, climbed to 10th in 2015, and reached seventh this year. Meanwhile, Microsoft had climbed from sixth to fourth, but this year plunged to 20th. By contrast, Google - which had fallen three years in a row - reversed direction and climbed two places to 16th. (The survey preceded Google's sweetheart deal with British tax authorities.)

Of course, with more than 1,500 brands under consideration, making the Top 20 is still an impressive feat. Companies that have fallen out of the Consumer Top 20 include the BBC, BMW, BP, Shell and Sony. Amazon dropped out last year. Facebook only made the cut in 2013.

Stephen Cheliotis, CEO of The Centre for Brand Analysis, which compiled the results, said in a statement: "The rejection of the new for trusted, traditional brands continues to defy expectation that some challengers, such as technology enabled or social based brands, would break through.

"In fact the reverse is true, with conservatism evident among the British public after years of crisis. Although change may be accelerating in many markets, changes in perception are much slower to come through. Consumers are continuing to seek out familiar brands with which they have an emotional connection."

Superbrands 2016 includes "category winners" for a number of different business areas. Google won in Advertising Solutions, Kickstarter in Financial - Crowdfunding & Peer-to-Peer Lending, Dropbox in Information Technology - Cloud, Data Centres & Hosting, Norton in Information Technology - Security, and Intel in Technology - Electronics, Semiconductors & Components.

Superbrands started in 1994 and now operates in more than 80 countries from Albania to Vietnam. The US subsidiary is known as America's Greatest Brands.

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