Aldi and Lidl ‘cement transition to mainstream brands’ as they top best brands list

Aldi and Lidl have claimed the two top spots on this year’s YouGov BrandIndex list of the UK’s top brands, cementing their transition from competitive outsiders to mainstream brands.

Lidl surprises ad

The bargain retailers have topped YouGov Brandindex’s list for the second year in a row, confirming their popularity among the British public.

YouGov BrandIndex measures the public’s perception of brands on a daily basis across a range of measures. The annual rankings were compiled using Buzz scores from across the year, which measure whether people have heard good or bad news about a brand during the previous two weeks.

Aldi takes the top spot with an average Buzz score of +19.7. Lidl follows closely behind with +17.5. The rest of the top five is filled by BBC iPlayer (+13.5), John Lewis (+12.1) and Dyson (+11.6).

According to Sarah Murphy, director of YouGov BrandIndex UK, both retailers have had a successful year of creative advertising, ambitious expansion and a progressive wage policy.

She says: “Aldi and Lidl hold the top two spots in our rankings for the second year in a row but their marketing strategies have evolved over the past 12 months. While they have always marketed themselves as being value for money the emphasis now is on the quality side of that bargain and not just the cost.

“Their ongoing store opening programme, including plans for far larger stores, cements the impression that both Aldi and Lidl have made the leap from ‘challengers’ to central players in the industry.”

Sarah Murphy, director, YouGov BrandIndex UK

The embrace of the recommended living wage by both was popular among consumers, helping them stand out as brands that do right by their staff, particularly as some rivals were seen to be undecided on the issue.’’

Both retailers also had a strong Christmas period. They persuaded an extra one million Brits to shop with them during the festive period, according to the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

Yorkshire Tea makes a surprise entry

Yorkshire Tea is one of the most notable new entries into the top ten, placing itself in seventh position with a score of +10.1. The brand set itself the target of becoming the UK’s second largest tea brand and it made a significant marketing commitment during 2015, launching a £5 million campaign.

YouGov BrandIndex Top 10 UK Brands of 2015

Rank Brand Score
1. Aldi  19.7
2.  Lidl 17.5
3.  BBC iPlayer 13.5
4.  John Lewis 12.1
5.  Dyson 11.6
6.  Marks & Spencer 11.2
7.  Yorkshire Tea 10.1
8.  YouTube 9.7
9. 9.4
10.  Apple 9.0
10. Waitrose 9.0

The rest of the top 10 is made up by YouTube,, Apple and Waitrose.

The biggest improvers

YouGov BrandIndex also ranks the “most improved” brands of 2015. The Co-operative Bank tops the list, yet despite its improvement it remains in negative territory with a score of -1.4.

The top 10 most improved brands mainly include financial institutions such as RBS, Lloyds and Barclays and utilities company British Gas, proving that both sectors are working hard to improve their public image.

Murphy explains: “There are a high number of brands on the list from the much maligned utilities and banking sectors as many enjoyed a year out of the headlines for the first time in a long time. In these cases, no news was indeed good news.”

YouGov BrandIndex Top 10 most improved brands of 2015

Rank Brand 2015 score 2014 score Change in score
1. Co-operative Bank -1.4 -15.7 14.4
2. Wonga -20.6 -32.0 11.4
3. British Gas -3.2 -10.2 7.0
4. The Co-operative 2.7 -3.7 6.4
5. Royal Bank of Scotland -8.8 -15.1 6.3
6. Co-operative Insurance 0.5 -5.6 6.1
7. Lloyds Bank -1.0 -7.0 6.0
8. Ryanair -6.8 -12.7 5.9
9. Tesco -12.0 -17.5 5.5
10. Barclays -5.4 -10.6 5.2