Apple, Sony seen as R&D leaders in UK

10 June 2011

LONDON: Apple, Sony and Microsoft are regarded as the most innovative companies by UK consumers, a report has shown.

Incite, the consultancy, asked 1,014 adults to name the brand owners displaying the strongest credentials in the field of new product development. Apple led the charts - as it did in a similar survey released by the firm in 2009.

Sony, a competitor in the same industry, retained second place across this timeframe, with Microsoft, the IT giant, also maintaining its hold on third.

Dyson, which has attempted to revolutionise categories from vacuum cleaners to fans and hand-dryers, climbed from fifth to fourth.

"At Dyson, innovation means developing technology that works better," Adam Rostom, international marketing director at Dyson, told Marketing Week.

"Our Air Multiplier fan would not be innovative were it not for the problems it solves it's safe, easy to clean and causes no buffeting."

Rostom suggested traditional marketing is typically not a concern for the organisation, which instead hopes the quality of its goods will speak volumes.

"We rely on our technology, not marketing campaigns," he said.

"We don't introduce a new machine if it's not an improvement on what's already out there. It's not difficult to communicate as people can relate to the technology; it solves everyday problems."

Samsung, another player in the technology sector, occupied fifth spot, measured against sixth in 2009. The firm has been bolstered by the success of offerings such as the Galaxy Tab.

John Tearle, an Incite associate, argued trends are emerging that may reshape the landscape over the longer term.

"Being a technology company doesn't necessarily mean you will jump to the top of the innovation list," he said.

"Technology manufacturers are losing out to companies that focus on media content, and provide a more social experience."

In demonstration of this, Virgin and Sky, both with a presence in the pay-TV broadcast arena, finished sixth and seventh respectively.

Google and Amazon, two online operators that forged highly original models, claimed eighth and ninth in turn, with the latter of the pair improving from the seventeenth spot it received in the 2009 rankings.

They thus came in ahead of gaming expert Nintendo, handset manufacturer Nokia, and Panasonic, another electronics specialist.

Retailer Tesco took thirteenth, slipping from ninth despite having expanded its reach into areas like financial services and telecoms.

Automaker Toyota, mobile company BlackBerry, technology firm LG and computing titan Dell all featured inside the top 20.

They were joined in this cohort by Philips, which sells everything from televisions to shavers, as well as HTC, the Taiwanese electronics challenger brand, a new entry.

BT, the communications provider, rounded out this group.

More broadly, the values respondents emphasised included being seen as a pioneer, trustworthiness and showing an understanding of the issues customers face on a day-to-day basis.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff