LUXURY watchmaker Rolex is still the UK’s leading “superbrand”, research revealed today.
The iconic Swiss design held on to its title in the annual superbrands survey, where it remained top of the consumer favourites list.
It is the first time in six years that a brand has won two years running.
However, analysts said that despite Rolex’s surprising success the latest results showed that mostly consumers value cheap, nostalgic brands that provide “day-to-day contentment” in tough times.
The survey, based on a shortlist compiled by researchers and voted on by about 5,000 consumers, saw household names including Kellogg’s, Heinz, Coca-Cola and Disney making up half of the consumer top 20, alongside luxury brands such as Hilton and Mercedes-Benz.
Marks & Spencer was the only retailer to make it into the top 20, coming 17th, with experts saying that the firm remained popular with consumers, despite its poor financial results.
Media and technology brands continued to dominate the top ten with Apple second, followed by Microsoft in third place, while Google was rated sixth.
Facebook took 14th place but rival social networking phenomenon Twitter failed to make the top 20, coming 86th.
The BBC, which faces ongoing criticism over the its handling of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal, dropped out of the top ten to fall from fifth place last year to 13th.
However, it was still well ahead of Sky which was the second-placed media brand, 34th.
Meanwhile, beleaguered oil giant BP made a huge comeback from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, moving up to 18th place from 35th last year.
Despite criticism over its handling of weather-related problems, Heathrow Airport made it into the top ten for consumers as well, placed at number eight.
Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the Superbrands Expert Council, said: “As consumers remain unsettled and fearful over what feels like endless economic doom and gloom, malpractice in key institutions and a weakening position for Britain in a changing world, it is perhaps no surprise that we are turning to reassuringly familiar brands that we have known throughout our lives – often much-loved British establishments.
“In addition, voters recognise newer technology brands that make our lives simpler, happier and better-connected in these difficult times.”
Andrew Turnbull, senior lecturer in retail, marketing and media at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said: “It’s a measure of quality and also of cool, these are the brands that consumers want to be seen with.
“I’m slightly surprised that so many day-to-day brands are in there, as I thought this was more about aspirational brands like Mercedes-Benz, but brands like Kellogg’s and Heinz are staples and benchmarks and in difficult times people turn to these.”