More than 30 of the shortlisted entries to the awards come from the great and the good of the high street, online retailers and supermarkets. Spanning data marketing, digital, social and mobile, in-store and shopper marketing, sponsorship, loyalty and experiential activity, the entries from retailers demonstrate how dynamic and progressive the sector is in terms of its approach to marketing.

Boots, Tesco, Argos, Ikea, Costa, Asda and Waitrose are just some of the brands jostling for recognition at this year’s event beating hundreds of other entries on to the shortlist.

Among the brands up for the coveted Brand of the Year gong are John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Up against brands including British Airways, Cadbury and Virgin Atlantic among others it will be a hard fought battle amongst these top brands but both retailers would be well deserved winners.

After ending its 10 year partnership with chef Jamie Oliver Sainsbury’s marketers dialled up the creativity and the Live Well for Less brand proposition and subsequent marketing have helped drive the supermarket’s consistent performance in the market in the last 12 to 18 months.

The creative has been both clever and endearing, tapping into the mindset of the nation and offering value at the same time as values. But beyond that, Sainsbury’s marketing has been a clear part of the supermarket’s business strategy which is what makes it a hot contender for the brand of the year prize.

Likewise John Lewis’ TV advertising is an example of great brand marketing more often than any other retail brand by marketers keen to replicate what has been called the ‘John Lewis Effect’. John Lewis too has outperformed the rest of the high street consistently in the last three or four years. It too would be a worthy winner.

You can find the full shortlist, and see if you’re on it, here and hopefully come and join us on 21 May to celebrate.