Some of Britain’s best loved brands such as M&S and Cadbury have failed to feature on the list at all, being superseded by the likes of LEGO, Virgin Atlantic and Häagen-Dazs. It is the first time since 2009 that M&S has been absent from the list.
What causes brands to fall out of favour with the public?
Numerous causes can be identified in the fall in popularity of such superbrands. Firstly and more generally it could be down to price. With supermarkets offering own brand alternatives and the internet providing cheaper options, brands such as Heinz could have fallen victims to supermarket price wars and cash strapped consumers. The consumer’s desire for more exotic, authentic and spicy flavours could also be attributed to the decline in popularity of Heinz.
In terms of Cadbury’s demise it seems as although the American takeover and the changes in its recipes explain why Britain has fallen out of love with Cadbury. In this case the consumer trust in the brand may well have been damaged as the brand has lost integrity through its takeover and for not listening to consumers, especially over #CremeEggGate.
Thirdly, M&S have had 14th consecutive quarters of poor performance in their clothing departments. Again, are M&S still not listening to the consumer, why can’t they ever get clothes right? With a reliance on overpriced cashmere, M&S have yet to shed their elderly reputation and appeal to the younger generation. Not to mention the numerous glitches with its new website causing customers to abandon their purchases and go elsewhere.
In all three of these cases a common denominator links them and that’s a failure to stay relevant either in products, price, branding or user experience. By not seizing new trends or listening to the consumer, the consumer no longer has time to listen to them.
In a competitive and challenging consumer market place, established superbrands can no longer rely on the history of their brand name to carry them through challenging economic times. Look at Heinz’s slogan, “It has to be Heinz” yet with the decline of popularity and so many different and cheaper alternatives, it really doesn’t have to be Heinz anymore. All brands regardless of their prestigious history need to be dynamic enough to adapt quickly to mutable consumer behaviour and needs.
Perhaps this is the wakeup call that brands require to stay moving with the times. Consumers are becoming less and less loyal as new competition sways their choices. Old founded hopes of consumer loyalty are but figments of the old generation. Nothing is guaranteed and brands need to realise this no matter how much of a ‘superbrand’ they are.
Top 20 consumer brands for 2015
1. British Airways
6. John Lewis
20. Virgin Atlantic