Modern commercial air travel is so universally loathed that comedians have worn out jokes about airplane food and lost bags to the point that audiences no longer find them funny despite their disdain. However, one British carrier has managed to break the mold — quality of airplane food yet to be determined.
According to Marketing magazine’s 2016 Consumer Superbrands survey, British Airways managed to hold its top spot among the most favored (or favoured) brands among consumers in the British Isles. A majority of respondents ranked BA highly in categories related to quality, reliability and distinction — attributes not normally associated with the modern airline industry. This marks the third year in a row that BA has captured the lion’s share of praise from U.K. consumers.
Also enjoying a steady reputation among the British buying public was Rolex, which captured second place for the third year running. However, 2016’s third-place winner, LEGO, is a newcomer to the podium, having spent 2015 at No. 11 on Marketing’s Superbrand survey.
While there were plenty of upwardly mobile brands in 2016, the enduring story might be the number of household names that experience precipitous falls in the court of public opinion. Microsoft, for example, slid 16 spots from its previous No. 4 overall spot to barely break the Top 20 this year. It’s not just disdain for foreign brands that’s got British shoppers ready to reconsider. Though the BBC has been a fixture of the U.K.’s favorite brands — even placing in the Top 5 overall for eight of the last nine Superbrand surveys — the media conglomerate was booted from the Top 20 this year.
“The rejection of the new for trusted, traditional brands continues to defy expectation that some challengers, such as technology-enabled or social-based brands, would break through,” Stephen Cheliotis, CEO of The Centre for Brand Analysis, which conducted the Superbrand survey, told Marketing. “In fact the reverse is true, with conservatism evident among the British public after years of crisis. Although change may be accelerating in many markets, changes in perception are much slower to come through. Consumers are continuing to seek out familiar brands with which they have an emotional connection.”