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Microsoft ranked number one business superbrand by british professionals and industry experts

The multi-national tech giant has been voted number one in the annual ranking of the strongest business brands in the UK, ahead of Apple, 2019’s reigning champion

Superbrands UK revealed today that Microsoft has beaten 1,610 other business-to-business brands to be crowned the number one Business Superbrand for 2020. After sitting below fellow tech titan, Apple, the number one Business Superbrand for two years running, Microsoft has risen up through the ranks, moving from third, to first place in the last three years.

While knocked from the winner’s podium this year, Apple has still been ranked a solid second place, closely followed by British Airways at third – a rank up from its former 2019 status. Multinational financial services corporation, Visa, has also seen rapid movement within the ranks this year – rising from tenth to fourth place and now ahead of both Mastercard (7th) and Paypal (9th).

The Business Superbrands survey has been tracking the perception of a wide-range of business brands in the UK since 2001. It follows a voting process involving 2,500 UK business professionals, supplemented by an expert council comprising of 20 senior business-to-business marketing leaders, all with purchasing or managerial responsibility within their business.

Business-to-business brands across 64 categories from ‘Accountancy & Business Services’ to ‘Waste Management & Recycling’ were evaluated. Brands never apply to be considered, but each year all the key players within each sector are evaluated to identify the most highly regarded. The research process was managed by The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA) in partnership with Dynata, one of the world’s leading data research companies.

All voters were asked to judge brands against the three core factors inherent in a Superbrand: quality, reliability and distinction. Additionally, brand perception and voting by individuals is also influenced by a range of both short and long-term factors, from the brand’s current profile to its latest marketing activities and new product and service developments, giving a holistic picture of how brands are currently perceived.

The Business Superbrands rankings show a fairly consistent top 20, with only five changes in the top 20 entrants, all of whom, bar Adobe, have been in the top 20 on at least one other occasion over recent years.

Other key citations include:

  • There has been a continued importance of sectors vital to the growing digital economy, including payment solutions, where PayPal, Mastercard and Visa retain their top twenty berths
  • Petrochemicals giant Shell remains prominent in the top 20 for the seventh year in a row
  • Google remains omnipresent in the top twenty since the methodology was changed in 2006, this year regaining sixth place after falling to ninth last year
  • Airlines, British Airways and Emirates, remained in the top 20. British Airways rising from fourth to third place this year and Emirates falling from third to tenth.

Damon Segal, CEO and Co-founder of The Academy of Chief Marketers, and Chief Executive Officer at Superbrands UK comments: “It has been a year of immense unpredictability, and while this year’s survey was carried out pre-pandemic, the Business Superbrands ranking remains faithful. This year we saw strong growth in brand presence across the board, making Superbrands 2020 extremely competitive. The familiarity and trust of the leading brands have once again shone through, enabling many to remain resilient. Becoming a Superbrand is a fantastic achievement and continues to provide a competitive edge over weaker rival brands.”

The overall top 10 Business Superbrands for 2020 are:

  1. Microsoft
  2. Apple
  3. British Airways
  4. Visa
  5. Samsung
  6. Google
  7. Mastercard
  8. Shell
  9. PayPal
  10. Emirates

Separately, the parallel Consumer Superbrands survey results were also revealed today, showing Rolex as the number one brand according to British consumers. More information can be found on the Superbrands UK website:

About Superbrands UK

The Superbrands organisation identifies and pays tribute to exceptional brands throughout the world. The UK programme is run under license by Academy of Chief Marketers. The identified brands are celebrated in the Superbrands Annual, first published in 1995 and now in its 21st volume in the UK. The book explores the history, development and achievements of the nation’s leading brands, showcasing why they are well-regarded and providing valuable insights into each brand’s strategy and proposition.

What is a Superbrand?

All voters considered the following definition and criteria when judging the brands:

‘A Superbrand has established the finest reputation in its field. It offers customers significant emotional and/or tangible advantages over its competitors, which customers want and recognise.’

  • Quality:               Does the brand provide quality products and services?
  • Reliability:          Can the brand be trusted to deliver consistently?
  • Distinction:        Is it well known in its sector and suitably different from its rivals?

About Dynata

Dynata is one of the world’s leading providers of first-party data contributed by people who opt-in to member-based panels. With a reach that encompasses over 60 million people globally and an extensive library of individual profile attributes collected through surveys, Dynata is the cornerstone for precise, trustworthy quality data. Dynata serves nearly 6,000 market research agencies, media and advertising agencies, consulting and investment firms as well as healthcare and corporate customers.


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