Beefeater has topped the list for UK’s biggest brand movers between February and March 2021. The pub chain registered positive movement across 13 out of 14 YouGov BrandIndex metrics to top the overall list. Multiple hospitality sector brands made it into the top five this month as news of a national reopening for pubs and restaurants did the rounds in the UK.
The data is drawn from the second edition of YouGov BrandIndex Biggest Brand Movers, a monthly analysis tracking the five brands that register positive movement cross the most BrandIndex metrics within the UK.
Beefeater was able to make gains in BrandIndex media metrics such as ad awareness, word of mouth and buzz during its promotional campaigns. Those surges were accompanied by major improvements in brand health metrics such as awareness, index, quality, value, impression and satisfaction. It also ticked every box in the purchase funnel metrics category, scoring high in consideration, purchase intent and current customer.
Italian sportswear brand Lotto registered significant movement in ad awareness and word of mouth. It also witnessed spikes in awareness, index, quality, impression, reputation, satisfaction and recommendation. Purchase funnel metrics like consideration, purchase intent and current customers also rose appreciably.
Tied for second place on the list with Lotto was Toby Carvery. The restaurant chain leapt forward in media metrics such as ad awareness, word of mouth and buzz. The brand registered spikes in brand health and purchase funnel metrics too. Fast food chain Nando’s rose in all but two BrandIndex metrics (quality and recommend) to tie for the second spot.
Among other hospitality brands, Brewers Fayre and Slug & Lettuce tied for third place. Both brands saw upward movement in the media metric category (ad awareness, word of mouth and buzz), and also enjoyed rising awareness, quality, impression and satisfaction. Brewers Fayre showed growth in every purchase funnel metric, while Slug & Lettuce witnessed climbs in consideration and purchase intent.
Packaged food brands Kinder Bueno and Kinder Surprise also finished joint-third, alongside leisure and sportswear brand Pringle.
The Pokémon franchise, which celebrated its 25th anniversary at the end of February, came in at fourth. Ad Awareness and buzz metrics witnessed meaningful rises, as did brand health metrics such as index, quality, impression, satisfaction and recommend. The brand ticked all boxes under YouGov’s purchase funnel metrics as well.
PayPoint tied with Pokémon in fourth. Real estate website Zoopla, which launched a 10-week multichannel campaign to target wealthy homeowners at the end of 2020, closed the list out at fifth place, registering marked gains in metrics such as word of mouth, index, value, recommend, consideration, purchase intent and current customer.
The Marketing Week view
This month’s clear theme is how restaurant and pub brands have surged back into the public consciousness, and the reasons should be obvious. With pandemic restrictions having been in place in various parts of the country since last autumn – and, since January, nationwide – eating out has become an almost alien concept, however the opening up of outdoor drinking and dining in April has seen an explosion of the last few months’ pent-up demand.
The fact that brands such as Beefeater, Toby Carvery, Nando’s, Slug & Lettuce and Brewers Fayre all benefited from bumps in YouGov’s metrics from February to March suggests two things: either the brands have been on the front foot with planning how to drive sustained demand for the reopening, or they are benefiting from general public excitement about being able to eat and drink at pubs and restaurants again – or a combination of both.
In the case of Beefeater and Brewers Fayre, both owned by Whitbread, well publicised early announcements of reopening plans with discounts for emergency services, NHS workers, armed forces and newsletter subscribers probably boosted perceptions of the brands. Nando’s made similar announcements but has also been offering takeaway service throughout lockdown.
Interestingly, due to limited outdoor space, Toby Carvery is only opening 12 sites from 24 April – and they will be without a carvery service. The brand has been promoting its gift cards in the meantime, but the fact it has captured consumers’ attention while remaining closed longer than competitors suggests a sense of anticipation has lifted the whole sector, and these low-cost, high-volume brands are simply the biggest beneficiaries.
The brands that succeed through the rest of the year once the initial rush has died down will be those that continue to focus on marketing fundamentals. Well timed seasonal promotions will be crucial as always, but so will the core product and price offerings for what will be a transformed marketplace. Brands also need a forward-thinking approach to ecommerce and delivery, since many local independents have entered this space since the start of the pandemic.
The best-prepared brands will have used lockdown as an opportunity to refresh menus, plan promotions and polish their on- and offline customer experience – and they’ll need to make sure the offering adapts to whatever unexpected turns hit the hospitality industry through the remainder of 2021.
Data for the Biggest Brand Movers in April compared statistically significant score increases across all BrandIndex metrics between February and March 2021. Brands are ranked based on the number of metrics that saw a statistically significant increase from month to month. Metrics considered are:
Ad awareness: Whether a consumer has seen or heard an advertisement for a brand in the past two weeks
Word of mouth: Whether a consumer has talked about a brand with family or friends in the past two weeks
Buzz: Whether a consumer has heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the past two weeks
Brand health metrics
Index: A measure of overall brand health – an average of impression, quality, value, satisfaction, recommend, and reputation
Awareness: Whether or not a consumer has ever heard of a brand
Quality: Whether a consumer considers a brand to represent good or poor quality
Value: Whether a consumer considers a brand to represent good or poor value for money
Impression: Whether a consumer has a positive or negative impression of a brand
Reputation: Whether a consumer would be proud or embarrassed to work for a particular brand
Satisfaction: Whether a consumer is currently a satisfied or dissatisfied customer of a particular brand
Recommend: Whether a consumer would recommend a brand to a friend or colleague or not
Purchase funnel metrics
Consideration: Whether a consumer would consider a brand or not the next time they are in the market for a particular product
Purchase intent: Whether a consumer would be most likely or unlikely to purchase a specific product
Current customer: Whether a consumer has purchased a given product or not within in a specified period of time