british airways
2012 Olympic sponsorship helps British Airways rise above Rolex and Coca-Cola to top annual Super Brands list.

The airline beat more than 1,500 companies to the summit of the annual ranking of brand strength in the UK thanks in part to the residual impact from its sponsorship of the London 2012 Games and the popularity of its “To Fly. To Serve” marketing campaign. 

Swiss luxury watch maker Rolex fell to second after being unable to defend the top spot for a third year running. The list, based on the opinions of more than 3,000 British adults, also saw the BBC climb ten places to third suggesting it has recovered from the Jimmy Savile scandal that tarnished the brand in 2012.

The most notable causality on the list was last year’s runner-up Apple. The technology maker dropped to 14th place below Google and Microsoft in a year that saw it recieve a muted response to new product launches. 

Despite Apple’s dip, it is still the most valuable brand in the world. It led 2013’s BrandZ list of the top 100 valuable global brands ahead of Google, and IBM as well as topping Brand Finance’s ranking – determined by a mix of revenue, market capitalisation, perception and desirability.

Apple’s drop reflected a difficult year for the technology sector, according to the research, with Google dropping from sixth to seventh and Microsoft slipping from third to sixth. Facebook, which ranked 14th last year, fell out of the top 20 entirely, despite seeing its brand valuation soar in 2013 by 76 per cent, according to Brand Finance.

Stephen Cheliotis, chief executive of the Centre for Brands Analysis and chairman of the Superbrands Council, says: “It is increasingly clear that in the short-term at least Apple is struggling to maintain its enviable innovation record in the eyes of consumers, while failing to inspire individuals without its hugely influential leader, the late Steve Jobs. Apple¹s reputation is taking a hit while, the fall of its US peers suggests a growing lethargy among consumers towards the American tech giants in general.” 

Superbrands top 20 brands:

  1. British Airways
  2. Rolex
  3. Coca-Cola
  4. BBC
  5. Heinz
  6. Microsoft
  7. Google
  8. Gillette
  9. Kellogg’s
  10. BMW
  11. Cadbury
  12. Andrex
  14. Apple
  15. Boots
  16. Nike
  17. Sony
  18. Marks & Spencer
  19. Shell
  20. Mercedes-Benz