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DMA Insight: the Big Brand league table


New DMA research shows the most popular retail brands according to consumers, and shows some big surprises when compared to other 'most popular' lists

The high street is alive and well, and new DMA research shows the importance of multi-channel shopping.

Our list of the most popular retail brands shows some surprises and differences when compared to other ‘most popular’ lists. The Big Brand league list comes from the responses of 1,000 consumers who took part in the DMA’s Customer Engagement research, which explored what makes for excellent customer engagement today.

Other research pieces use a pre-chosen list of retailers for consumers to choose, which introduces bias to those choices.

For the Big Brand league table, the DMA and Future Foundation asked consumers 'which is your favourite retail brand/shop/site?' and consumers named their preferred retailers unprompted. They were not offered a pre-chosen selection of retailers to choose from.

Of the top 20 retail brands only three, Amazon, eBay, and ASOS, are online only. These three brands alone represent one-third (33%) of the total responses. Consumers named more than 120 retail brands in total.

The remainder represent some of the strongest brands on the high street, with strong performances for John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Next, Debenhams, Argos and Primark.

The vast majority are multi-channel retailers.

One anomaly is Apple, often cited as one of the top retail brands, but named by just 1% of the total, perhaps showing a disconect between the power of the brand and Apple as a retail brand - most iPhone users buy their handsets from their mobile operator, not through Apple direct.

This list is the best representation available of what consumers think of retail brands, whether they are multi-channel or online-only.

Warren Jenson, president of Acxiom International and a former Amazon CFO said, “Amazon is the world’s best example of a company that couples a deep commitment to their customers with the power of data and technology. The results are clear – a great personalised, relevant experience we all have come to love and trust. Brands everywhere need to understand Internet giants like Amazon have been perfecting data-driven marketing since they opened their doors. And they are not slowing down. Every day the giants come into work to further enhance their algorithms and data sets and thereby increase their relevance and reputation with their customers. The great news is that the technology and know-how now exists which enables all brands – large and small, physical and virtual – to do exactly the same thing. Your customers will love it!”

Tomas Salfischberger, CEO at Relay42, added, “Along with a few online giants, customer loyalties notably lie with those brands who connect bricks with clicks. This research means that now, a siloed approach must move into omnichannel approach, connecting all consumer data-sources, so that brands are able to incentivise and deliver on customer loyalty – no matter what the context.”

For more in the Customer Engagement research series, come to our event on 6 September to learn how consumers want to be engaged by financial services brands.

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