Microsoft 'is king of UK brands'

US computer giant Microsoft has won back its crown as the number one consumer brand in the UK.

The 12th annual top 500 Superbrands survey has revealed the winners and losers during this economic downturn.

A list of about 1,400 brands was considered by a panel of experts, with more than 2,000 UK consumers taking part in a vote.

At number two was Rolex, while Google slipped two places to third. Lego and Coca-Cola were new to the top 10.

Other brands which have kept their top 10 places include the BBC, British Airways and Mercedes-Benz.

Last year, Microsoft lost the first place to internet giant Google. This year, Apple has made it into the top 10.

Food and facts

"This year's survey reaffirms some of the downturn's winners and losers, with fast-food chains and supermarkets doing particularly well," said Stephen Cheliotis, chief executive of the Centre for Brand Analysis, which carried out the research on behalf of Superbrands UK.

The results, as always, return some surprises, with this year's notable high achiever being Encyclopaedia Britannica."





4.British Airways






10.Encyclopaedia Britannica

Source:Superbrands UK/The Centre for Brand Analysis






5.British Airways

6.Royal Doulton





Source:Superbrands UK/The Centre for Brand Analysis

Some of the brands which showed the strongest year-on-year improvement in the survey include McDonald's, which rises 227 places, Burger King, up 189 places, KFC rising by 164 and Domino's Pizza, which moves up by 144 places.

The highest new entry into this year's list was Krispy Kreme doughnuts, indicating demand for relatively low cost treats in the downturn.

"Actually making the top 500 itself is an achievement - the competition amongst brands for consumer attention and share of wallet is intense and growing fiercer." said Stephen Cheliotis.

Recovering from last year's plummet in the survey were the supermarkets, although only Sainsbury's broke into the top 100.

Morrisons and the Co-op have both entered the top 500 for the first time.

Royal Doulton has lost its top 10 position, but still remains ahead of giants like Vodafone, Audi, Nokia and Cadbury.

That, said Stephen Cheliotis, "is incredible".

The criteria

The survey defines a Superbrand as having established "the finest reputation in its field".

Such a brand is deemed to offer "significant emotional and/or tangible advantages over other brands, which customers want and recognise".

The brands are judged against the following three factors:

* Quality. Does the brand represent quality products and services?

* Reliability. Can the brand be trusted to deliver consistently against its promises and maintain product and service standards at all customer touch points?

* Distinction. Is the brand not only well known in its sector but suitably differentiated from its competitors? Does it have a personality and values that make it unique within its market place?

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