Supermarkets dominate top family brands

Marks & Spencer is the UK’s top family brand according to research carried out by YouGov for advertising agency Isobel.

Marks and Spencer

Supermarkets performed well in the poll with the Co-op, Morrisons, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s joining M&S in the top ten.

Legacy brands such as Cadbury’s and Warburtons were also well perceived by consumers, but restaurants and airlines fared poorly in the study.

The 2009 FamilyBrands report identifies brands that are seen to promote and support family values. The study polled more than 1500 UK adults in October, asking them to identify brands they considered to be “socially responsible”, “caring”, or “good listeners”.

Isobel planning partner Steve Hastings says: “The recession has focused people on the home and family, giving family-facing brands an advantage in creating emotional links. Retail brands have an advantage in that physical proximity and scale breeds trust and affection,” he adds.

The worst performing family brand was Ryanair with only 1 per cent of respondents believing the company to be either “caring” or “good listeners” or “promoting family values.”

Hastings believes this shows the dangers of rising consumer expectations.

“We want low-cost air travel, but find it hard to give up the sensitivity, responsiveness, and family-friendly consumer choice,” he says.

The research also revealed that consumers overwhelmingly believe that brands are not responsive to their wishes. Only 8 brands polled above ten percent in response to the question “which brands do you consider to be good listeners?”

Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman blames unrealistic expectations.

“Consumers can begin to expect brands to be unnaturally responsive to their needs in the way a parent would be,” he says.

Top ten

1 Marks & Spencer
2 Co-op
3 Boots
4 Kellogg’s
5 Morrisons
6 Warburtons
7 Andrex
8 Waitrose
9 Cadbury
10 Sainsbury

M&S has this month appointed former Morrisons chief executive Marc Bolland

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