The survey, which is chosen by a panel of experts, including Marc Nohr, managing partner of Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw and Phil Nunn, executive media director of TBWA Group, combined with 1700 business executives, who score brands on their quality, reliability and distinction in the business world.
In a reversal of fortunes, Google, which ranked first in 2008 and 2009, slipped down to 5th place, whilst Microsoft enjoys the number 1 slot having been 2nd in 2007 and 2008, and 5th in 2009.
Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of The Centre for Brand Analysis, says: “Once again Microsoft and Google have proved their potency by fighting it out for the top spots, whilst many other brands have reaffirmed their consistent performance year on year.”
New entries into the Top 10 are: BlackBerry in 3rd place, rising from last year’s 42nd; Visa in 9th (2009: 14th) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 10th (2009: 17th). Rolls-Royce Group remains in second place, whilst London Stock Exchange and GlaxoSmithKline preserve their Top 10 rankings.
British Airways has bounced back into 8th place from its worst position last year (36th), while rivals Virgin Atlantic beat them in 4th position.
Meanwhile, the fall-out from the financial crisis has resulted in four banks falling out of the top 10, including UBS and Morgan Stanley, whilst the Royal Bank of Scotland has crashed out of the top 500 altogether and lost its Business Superbrands status for the first time.
HSBC and Barclays, which both avoided direct Government support, rose in the rankings; the former jumped from 60th to 41st and the latter from 107th to 73rd. The other big winners in the financial services category are The Co-operative Bank, which climbed from 320th to 229th, and Barclaycard, which achieves its highest score to date positioned at 57.
Cheliotis adds: “The financial services sector has seen mixed results with the investment banks particularly losing ground over the year, whilst The Co-operative Bank and its ethically focused strategy and co-operative structure powers forward climbing 91 places.”