BrandZ UK top 50, Burberry, Christmas: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up on all the week’s most important marketing news, from the 50 most valuable UK brands, to Burberry’s hunt for a new creative chief, and the Christmas ads that have launched so far.

BrandZ UK top 50First BrandZ UK top 50 names most valuable British brands

Well known for its annual list of the world’s 100 most valuable brands, research agency Kantar Millward Brown this week launched the first BrandZ UK top 50, finding a dearth of technological innovation in comparison with the global list.

Not one of the UK top 50 is a pure-play internet company, with the ranking dominated by traditional businesses averaging 100-years-old. BrandZ’s measure of brand health for homegrown companies is also far below that of international peers, with the lack of perceived innovation dragging them down.

The companies leading the ranking offer few surprises, with Vodafone, HSBC, Shell, BP and BT comprising the top five. There are some interesting omissions, however, such as John Lewis, whose sales are not sufficient to warrant inclusion in the top 50, and Pret A Manger, which misses out despite ranking in the top 10 most valuable UK brands in 2006.

Those judged to have best growth potential also include intriguing and unexpected names, led by Dyson, Ovo Energy, Dulux, AO.com and Innocent.

READ MORE: Revealed: The UK’s 50 most valuable brands and why they must innovate to survive globally

Christmas kicks off

A selection of brands have got out of the blocks early with their Christmas campaigns this week, beginning the annual fight for attention to make the biggest impact on social media and in the press.

While the most elaborate ad launches are expected from the likes of John Lewis and Sainsbury’s next week, a number of businesses, including Currys PC World, Argos and Asda have already shown their hand and appear to be adopting a wide range of product- and brand-focused strategies over the Christmas period.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic is offering customers the chance to crowdfund flights to somewhere they really want to go for Christmas, instead of receiving unwanted gifts. DFS is bringing back the Aardman characters featured in its most recent campaign for a festive push that puts the focus on its delivery service. And Cineworld is hoping to convince consumers to buy their loved ones cinema tickets with a new campaign that introduces animated creature Gus.

Keep up to date with all the latest campaigns with the Marketing Week Christmas blog.

Burberry brand starts a new era after Christopher Bailey

BurberryFew brands’ identities are so tied to one executive as Burberry’s has been over the past 15 years, ever since chief creative officer Christopher Bailey was recruited by then-CEO Rose Marie Bravo to turn around the ailing luxury house.

His designs have been synonymous with Burberry’s recent success, burnishing its brand credentials of accessible, functional luxury in a way that saw it re-establish its high-end positioning to tremendous effect.

So when Bailey finally announced his departure on Tuesday, it left the company with a huge hole to fill. Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson argued Bailey’s only mistake was his brief elevation to CEO, during which he failed to emulate Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren by marrying creative skill with business acumen.

According to Ritson, current CEO Marco Gobbetti has a crucial task to bring in a British designer who can carry forward the brand DNA instilled by founder Thomas Burberry in the 19th century, while retaining the consistent look Bailey achieved.

READ MORE: Mark Ritson: Burberry has a big brand challenge to replace Christopher Bailey

Ad industry reacts to government gambling review

The government has spent a year considering evidence as to whether it should put tighter regulations on the gambling industry, determining that where advertising is concerned, the answer will be no. Yet the outcome of its long-awaited review is that the Advertising Standards Authority will publish a raft of new guidance aimed at the sector, laying out how gambling brands can and can’t advertise under current rules.

This includes guidance to protect those at risk of problem gambling, and children and young people, expected to be published next year. The ASA also told Marketing Week that it will unveil new guidance on how gambling brands use promotional offers and affiliates before the end of 2017. The ASA recently banned affiliate ads run on behalf of Ladbrokes, SkyBet, Casumo and 888, which suggested gambling could help a man fund his wife’s cancer treatment.

The gambling sector will have to fund a new two-year campaign to encourage responsible behaviour that will be run by charity GambleAware with assistance from the Advertising Association, broadcasters and gambling industry groups. It will have a budget of between £5m and £7m per year and include TV, radio, cinema, online and print activity.

READ MORE: New gambling ad guidance to target affiliates and promotions

Consumer spending growth ‘more worrying than reassuring’

Consumers appear to have upped their spending on big-ticket items in recent months, however researchers warn that this might not signal a long-term return to economic confidence, as much of the spending goes on credit cards.

GfK’s monthly consumer confidence index fell one point to -10 in October, eight points lower than the same period a year ago. And despite positive movement in September, its measures of the public’s perception of the general economic situation over the last 12 months (-29) and over the next 12 months (-26) fell by one and two points respectively.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said the Christmas sales period could go either way for brands, but any momentum could be short-lived. “Interest rates are turning [upwards], inflation is strengthening, there’s Brexit fog, burgeoning credit card use, no motivation to save – so is there a precipice ahead?”

READ MORE: Consumers show ‘worrying enthusiasm for spending’ as Christmas approaches

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