The home-grown mega brand beats global electronics heavyweight Samsung, and mobile messaging service Whatsapp to dominate the rankings once again as the most positively perceived brand amongst residents, having been in third position for the past two years, the YouGov BrandIndex 2015 Mid-Year BestBrand Rankings said.
YouGov BrandIndex tracks over 400 brands in the UAE. Rankings are created using BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which is calculated by asking respondents if they have ‘heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word-of-mouth’.
Emirates has maintained a prominent sponsorship strategy this year, continuing to build relationships with its passengers by supporting a range of high profile sporting and musical events. The abundance of positive noise also makes it the third highest Buzz score improver for 2015, increasing its score by 4.5 points since this time last year (score: 56.7).
Overall, the top 10 rankings are still dominated by digital-based brands which have gradually been pushing out FMCG favorites who have scored highly in previous years. Whatsapp (score: 51.3) and video-sharing platform YouTube (36.0) debut for the first time flying into second and seventh place respectively, squeezing out household names, Almarai and Carrefour after a two-year stint in the top 10.
There is an unexpected slip for Samsung losing its Buzz crown since this time last year, now in third (score: 44.1). Whilst Apple gains a place just behind in fourth (score: 41.1). It’s a surprising turn of events for Google who falls to the middle of the leaderboard in fifth (score: 40.1) for the first half of the year. However, Facebook and Apple iPhone are holding their ground as non-movers in sixth (score: 38.0) and eighth place (score: 34.9), respectively, the study said.
Etihad Airways (score: 36.0) sails into the top 10 making its debut appearance in seventh equal position with YouTube. The launch of a revolutionary new airline class "The Residence" and advertising campaign, "Flying Reimagined" starring Australian actress Nicole Kidman, sees Etihad step up a gear in 2015, also gaining the highest Buzz score improvement (score increase: 6.7).
Real estate brands round up the top 10, with mega property developer Emaar dropping two places from seventh to ninth (score: 34.2) , while Dubai Mall holds steady as a non-mover in tenth place (score: 31.9).
“It’s clear digital-based brands are currently riding high amongst the public’s opinion, taking up seven of the UAE’s top 10 most positively perceived brands. However, a strong marketing push from Emirates and Etihad Airways is clearly paying off, giving the technology power-houses a run for their money. It will be interesting to see how the next six months unfolds as regional competition between the carriers heats up,” said YouGov’s Managing Director Kailash Nagdev.