Olympics drives most improved brands of 2012

The success of London 2012 provided brands closely associated with the Games with a spike in positive perception last year with 6 of the 10 most improved brands benefiting from the halo effect the Games generated, according to a report.


YouGov Brand Index’s study (see below) shows British Airways topping the list of brands that saw the biggest gains in Buzz – a balance of the positive and negative things people have heard about a brand – gaining 8.66 points in 2012 to finish the year on 8.24.

Olympic sponsors British Gas, BP and EDF Energy also featured in the top 10 as did London Underground, which was judged to have coped well with the increase in travellers during the Olympic and Paralympics despite pre-Games concerns over its ability to handle the demands.

British Gas and EDF Energy sit alongside utility firms Scottish Power, Scottish Gas and Npower in the most improved list despite announcing a series of above inflation price hikes in the year. The industry’s big six all committed to improving bill transparency and reducing the number of tariffs available in the year.

BBC’s catch-up service iplayer was the most positively viewed brand of the year, while the bbc.co.uk site made the top 10 UK brands list at 8, despite the hit the broadcaster’s master brand took in the wake of the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal.

Elsewhere, John Lewis moved to second from fifth a year earlier. The retailer outperformed the struggling retail sector in 2012 helped by the much celebrated Adam & Eve created advertising campaigns.

Amazon, which has been accused of tax avoidance, fell from first in 2011 to third last year. Marks and Spencer, which reported a dip in sales of its clothes in the year, also suffered, dropping to fifth, from second in 2011.

Top 10 UK Brands 2012 Top 10 UK Improvers 2012
1 BBC iPlayer (3 in 2011) 1 British Airways (up 8.66 points)
2 John Lewis (5 in 2011) 2 British Gas (+8.09)
3 Amazon (1 in 2011)  3 BP (+7.63)
4 MoneySavingExpert.com (8 in 2011) 4 Scottish Power (+7.12)
5 Marks & Spencer (2 in 2011) 5 Netflix (+6.93)
6 Apple iPad (new entry) 6 London Underground (+5.35)
7 Sainsbury’s (no change) 7 Scottish Gas (+5.31)
8 BBC.co.uk 8 EDF Energy (+4.86)
9 Samsung (new entry) 9 npower (+4.66)
10 Cathedral City (no change) 10 Samsung (+4.62)

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