Netflix leads Best Brand Rankings in the UK while Thomas Cook and Disney+ are most improved

Janice Fernandes
November 16, 2021, 11:00 AM UTC

Every year YouGov’s Rankings acknowledge the best-performing companies according to consumers’ overall perception of thousands of brands worldwide.  

The 2021 UK Best Brand Rankings reveal Netflix to be the most positively perceived brand among British consumers. The streaming platform has managed to claim the top spot with a score of 43.6 points, one point and one place higher than in 2020. 
 
The annual Best Brands Rankings are calculated using data collected from Britons every day from our global brand tracking tool – YouGov BrandIndex.   
 
Every brand’s performance is tracked daily against a range of metrics and the Best Brand Ranking is determined using their Index score – which assesses overall brand health. The Index score takes into account perceptions of a brand’s reputation and customer satisfaction; whether consumers would recommend the brand; their impression of the brand; and whether it represents good value and quality.    

The overall current top ten brands of 2021 reflect the fact that many Britons stayed at home for a good period of the year, seeking comfort and retail therapy as they did so. 

Much-loved high street presence Marks & Spencer moves up two spots to second place in 2021, while Boots remains constant in rank and score in eighth. John Lewis finds itself down from first to fourth position, while IKEA rises a spot to sixth. 

Consumers also regarded chocolate fondly in 2021. Confectioner Cadbury gains two places and comes a close third in our rankings, while Lindt makes a new entry in ninth. 

Making up the rest of the top ten are Visa, Royal Mail and Samsung, with the tech brand once again coming in at tenth place. 

 The rankings also reveal which brands have made the biggest improvement year on year.  

As borders continue to open after many months of lockdown, it’s perhaps no surprise that this year’s most improved brand should be a travel agent - Thomas Cook. After ceasing trading in 2019, the brand relaunched as an online travel agent in 2020 and, with an 11.3-point improvement, its brand health is moving in the right direction. Another travel-related company Northern Rail, which was re-nationalized in March 2020, comes in at fourth place. Despite a negative score, the brand has made a 4.6-point jump year on year, showing a promising positive response from consumers and good signs of continued recovery into the year ahead.  

As major sources of entertainment, media brands make up four of the ten brands with the biggest improvements in the past 12 months in the UK. Disney+ has kept growing since its UK launch in March 2020 with a 6.9-point increase, while Amazon Prime Video and All 4 are the other streaming services to have also seen a significant uptick. This last year saw Sky Arts become a free-to-air channel, and it has recorded a large increase in Impression, Quality and Satisfaction metrics, with scores jumping around 50%. 

Three home appliance brands also find themselves on our list of improvers. Whirlpool has seen a significant improvement of 5.8 points and its brand health score is higher now than it has been in the past four years. Hotpoint comes in seventh. Both brands have endured a difficult period related to a product recall however, a strong customer response has clearly resonated positively among consumers. Shark meanwhile, known for its vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, makes it into ninth position.  

A new YouGov study on perceptions of climate change shows that 70% of the public now believe in man-made climate change, compared to less than 50% in 2013. And breaking in to the top ten improvers is renewable energy group Octopus Energy with a change in score of +4.4 points. All six of its brand health metrics improved over the year, with the largest increase seen in Reputation, Brand Impression and Quality.  

Download the full report 

Methodology: ‘For this year’s global list, YouGov measured 17,000+ brands across 36 markets where we cover at least three sectors (YouGov monitors brands in 54 markets all in). The period we used started 1 October 2020 and ended 30 September 2021. Our report is based on brands’ Index score, which is a measure of overall brand health calculated by taking the average of Impression, Quality, Value, Satisfaction, Recommend and Reputation as reported by YouGov BrandIndex 

We created a shortlist of the top ten brands in each market, creating a group of 360 in all. Our Best Brand Rankings methodology awards ten points for placing first, down to one point for placing tenth in each market. The score shown in the global ranking is the total points accrued by each brand across the 360-brand shortlist.’

YouGov BrandIndex is our industry-leading brand health tracking solution, which gives a comprehensive overview of what your customers think, say, feel and do in relation to your brand, and your competitors.

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