Millward Brown classification of Great Britain’s best-known brands in 2006

Google was the best-known brand in Great Britain in 2006, although it only spent EUR 2 million on advertising, a survey carried out by consultancy company Millward Brown indicates.

2006 was the first year when Google was included in the Millward Brown classification since 1998. The world’s most popular search engine has risen to the first place in the Great Britain top of brands; the position Google occupied comes counter to the connection Millward Brown usually set between the brands’ advertising expenses and the position in the top. Most of the EUR 2 million Google allocated to advertising last year went to online advertising, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

The second place in the top went to Microsoft, with EUR 59.6 million advertising budget; the next places went to McDonald’s (EUR 48.6 million), Nokia (EUR 26 million, the former first place in 2005) and Tesco. The remaining positions in the top ten went to Coca-Cola, Colgate, Nescaf�, Ford and Vodafone.

Millward Brown considers the brands with a potential for growth one should keep an eye on are Marks & Spencer and the Apple iPod, alongside Google, 3, Asda, Red Bull, O2, MySpace, Virgin Mobile and Starbucks. Despite the negative publicity brands such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola were affected by in 2006, as a result of debates over obesity among children, both companies managed nevertheless to rank high in the top.

New Global Brand Valuation Study

Despite its dominance, Interbrand/BusinessWeek global brand league table has inherent weaknesses. This is not news to anyone who works in branding: most marketers accept that the Top 100 is an imprecise but important approximation of global brand equity.

But all this is about to change. Next month global agency group WPP will launch an alternative brand valuation league table that will directly challenge Interbrand’s calculations. The system has been masterminded by chief research officer Andy Farr and his marketing quant jocks at Millward Brown Optimor (MBO).

Here are some insights into this soon to be revealed WPP study:

  • WPP’s annual Brandz survey questions more than 650,000 consumers and professionals in 31 countries.
  • The results are analysed to create a combined diagnostic and predictive tool that evaluates the strength and growth potential of brands.
  • Respondents are asked to compare more than 21,000 brands in 300 categories from sectors including long purchase-cycle brands, FMCG, retail and e-commerce and services.
  • Each respondent is asked to evaluate brands in a competitive context from a category they shop in.
  • Their responses generate scores for levels of bonding with a brand, its advantage over rival brands, brand performance and relevance to consumer needs.
  • Consumer loyalty and claimed purchasing data are used to generate a ‘brand voltage’ score, indicating the brand’s potential.

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