LONDON: According to Millward Brown's annual BrandZ survey, Google and Microsoft topped the list of Britons' most popular brands in 2006. In all 4,800 people were invited to name their favourite brands - with Google outdistancing Microsoft by twelve percentage points.

The study, commissioned by WPP Group, quantifies and diagnoses the strengths and weaknesses of over 30,000 consumer-facing global brands.

Says Milward Brown global brand director Peter Walshe: "Google has been propelled to the top position because of its ubiquitous presence, the strength of its brand, the amount of coverage it generates in all media and its strong usage and brand experience among all age groups."

All the top ten brands command higher than average media awareness. Survey respondents were either aware of the brand's media presence or able to recall a media campaign (68% in Google's case and 56% for Microsoft) whereas the average for all UK brands was 18%.

Adds Walshe: "Brand popularity is one of the six key measures of brand strength. And having a strong media presence is an increasingly important factor in a brand's popularity."

The other metrics of brand strength are:

  • Difference (offers something different to other brands in the same category).

  • Leadership (projected innovation).

  • An acceptable price.

  • Emotional connection (appeal, aspiration, desire).

  • Rational benefits (does what it says it will do).
Concludes Walshe: "Consumer perception of a brand is a key input in determining the true value of a brand to the business because brands are a combination of business performance, product delivery, clarity of positioning, and leadership."

The UK's favourite brands for 2006 [first percentage = consumer rating; second (in brackets) = media awareness]:
  1. Google 68% (51%)
  2. Microsoft 56% (40%)
  3. McDonald's 56% (51%)
  4. Nokia 56% (35%)
  5. Tesco 55% (54%)
  6. Coca-Cola 55% (56%)
  7. Colgate 46% (35%)
  8. Nescafé 32% (19%)
  9. Ford 27% (30%)
  10. Vodafone 26% (42%)
BrandZ Top 100 ranking of the world's most powerful brands will be announced in April this year.

Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by WARC staff