Aldi Tops List Of Top 10 UK Brands

Which brands generated the most positive noise?


Discount retailer Aldi is the top UK brand of 2014. That's according to YouGov's BrandIndex, a measure of global brand perception ranking for 850 brands in 32 categories. YouGov, which specializes in survey and opinion polls, conducted 3,700 interviews each day in order to collect the data for the results. Segregated by country, the results give a fascinating insight into the brands that are performing the best in the minds of consumers.

Respondents of YouGov’s survey were asked for their views about brands, and whether they had heard positive or negative news about them in recent weeks. The data was then compiled to form a Buzz score, which serves as both a measure of positive sentiment, and brand awareness levels among consumers.

Here’s a look at which brands performed best in the minds of consumers, and why.

The BrandIndex Top 10 UK Brands


Aldi had a great year. The discount supermarket chain has been gaining popularity, stealing market share from competitors, and is fast becoming the UK’s sixth largest supermarket. The brand also scored a top ranking for simplicity, which according to a Siegel+Gale report is considered by consumers to be one of the most important characteristics they wish to see in a brand.

One of the strengths of the brand has been in breaking down traditional class perceptions of discount supermarkets, managing to appeal to middle-class shoppers seeking both value and quality.


Like fellow competitor Aldi, German supermarket chain Lidl are going from strength to strength in the UK. The brand has done what many international retailers failed to do: penetrate and adapt to an international market while maintaining the values on which the brand draws strength.

Facilitating this has meant adapting their operations and branding campaigns: for example, the practice of delivering leaflets through people’s letterboxes was dropped in favor of TV advertising and social media initiatives to better connect with a British audience.

Also a high performing brand on the aforementioned Simplicity Index, also saw Lidl launch an expansion program in which building brand awareness played a key role.

BBC iPlayer

Previously occupying the number one spot, BBC iPlayer has retained popularity as a provider of exceptional free content in the UK. Developments included further improvements to the user experience, with shows available to download and watch for 30 days rather than 7, and improved support for mobile devices.

John Lewis

The Christmas period saw department store retailer John Lewis achieve the strongest sales in the partnerships 150-year history, fueled by a record-breaking Black Friday.

John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin branding campaign won the hearts of consumers and achieved great digital results: there were 49,562 tweets in the first few days about Monty the Penguin, and #montythepenguin became the top Twitter trend 90 minutes after it was released.


Dyson is viewed as a quintessential British brand. The brand has won supporters and earned a great reputation by being innovative, offering quality products, and providing excellent customer service. Founder James Dyson announced a £1.5 billion investment in research and development to support his wish to see talented engineers remain in the UK.


Waitrose have been very smart with their strategy, and the seemingly unstoppable threat of discount supermarkets, by offering a distinct value proposition for consumers. In an interview with Marketing Week, Chairman Mark Price spoke of how the brand was pushing forward new innovations, such as wine tasting areas, free coffee, and their extended product range.

“We’re going to be everything that the discounters aren’t,” he said.

The second BBC brand to make the list, the news site has built a reputation for quality journalism and content, as well as a great user experience.

One recent innovation to storytelling formats has included for ways into immersive journalism – fully immersive scrollable pages where stories are supported by sound, video, and images that breathe new life into written content.


In some ways, Netflix is more than a brand – it’s a home media revolution. TV shows have never been more addictive, and new shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” have gained popularity.

Revenues continued to grow, and the brand have every reason to expect the success to continue with a sound business strategy and value proposition to support the brand.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer was another retailer that experienced a great Christmas sales period, running a successful #followthefairies Christmas campaign.

Marks & Spencer was also featured in a study highlighting brands that deliver excellent customer experiences.


MoneySavingExpert has built up a reputation over many years as being an authoritative source in consumer finance and spending. The site offers guides, tools, and an active community forum for users to share advice on everything from financial products to thrifty spending tips.

Demonstrating its strong values have been key to the brand’s success. Despite the controversial sale, consumers still recognize the site as being a great resource for impartial guidance and genuine advice, that can empower their financial management and spending.

What Are The Characteristics Of A Great Brand?

The brands featuring in the top 10 each offer a fantastic experience and value proposition for consumers. Aldi and Lidl are remarkable in that they are both relative newcomers to the UK market, but have won huge traction because of their ability to provide quality and genuine value. The same applies to both BBC iPlayer, and, which offer fantastic content to British consumers (for the cost of a license fee).

When it comes to matters of brand, values such as simplicity, and the provision of exceptional customer experiences (a virtue that necessitates great company culture), are also valuable, with the same brands ranking highly for studies measuring perception for those values.

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