Apple is the UK’s top storytelling brand

Apple tops the list of the UK’s best storytelling brands followed closely by Amazon, but many brands are struggling to make emotional connections with consumers, according to new research conducted by Aesop.

Another September meant business as usual for Apple as it officially unveiled the iPhone 7 last night (7 September).

Another September meant business as usual for Apple as it officially unveiled the iPhone 7 last night (7 September).

Apple has been identified as the UK’s top storytelling brand for the fourth year in a row with 41% of votes but Amazon is hot on its heels having jumped 11 places to claim the second spot.

The poll by creative agency Aesop asks 2,000 adults to identify brands against eight storytelling elements including being authentic, having a vision or mission, having an opinion, being memorable or evoking an emotional response.

The BBC is also closing in on Apple, coming in third with 36% of the votes. Indeed, the top 10 is dominated by technology, media and charity brands with Facebook ranking fourth, followed by The National Trust (fifth), YouTube (sixth) and PlayStation (seventh). Macmillan Cancer Support and Help for Heroes rank eighth and ninth, respectively, with Google coming in 10th.

READ MORE: The UK’s top storytelling brands 2015

Ed Woodcock, director of narrative at Aesop, says: “For Apple, the combination of being an innovative brand along with the amount of time we spend with it means it’s a perennial fixture.”

Despite being a good year for many retailers in the list, with Tesco (35),Boots (58), Sainsbury’s (64) and Morrisons (91) all rising up the ranking, while M&S, which comes in at 34 sees its biggest fall to date dropping 12 places.

It’s the first year the retailer hasn’t topped the ranking among grocers with Lidl claiming the highest position this year at 24. Just 18% of consumers identify M&S as a brand that ‘creates their own world’ with only 11% citing the retailer as a brand they have an emotional response to.

“People are less sure of what M&S is about. It’s less distinct.”

Ed Woodcock, director of narrative, Aesop

This year’s poll also sees brands continue to struggle in establishing an emotional connection with consumers, as only 10 brands poll 20% or more of the votes on this storytelling element.

Unsurprisingly, charities perform well in this category with Help for Heroes topping the list with 41% of the votes followed by Macmillan, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation. Fourteen brands, including E.ON, Nurofen and DFS, polled 3% or less of the votes for this element.

“Having activity over the year also keeps brands front-of-mind,” says Woodcock. “Switching off your marketing and communications can also have a negative effect on where you stand in the rankings.”

Other key findings include the fact Instagram is a new top 20 entry at 14. British Gas takes the prize as the year’s highest riser moving 57 places up the league table to come in at 90, while electronics is the best performing brand category.

At the other end of the spectrum, utilities and pet care are the two worst performing brand categories.

READ MORE: Twitter loses its cool as Apple is voted the world’s ‘coolest brand’ for the fifth year running

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  • Mark Wilson 29 Sep 2016 at 8:57 am

    ‘Having an opinion’ or ‘Being authentic’ is not the same as telling a story. If anyone can answer the question “What is the narrative arc of Amazon?” or “Who is the protagonist in Tesco’s quest?” without causing snorts of derision, I would be very surprised!

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