May 6, 2021

Opinium unveils the 100 Most Connected UK Brands

Opinium has unveiled the top 100 Most Connected Brands in the UK. Now in its second year, the ranking is the first ever Index to be compiled by exclusively from consumer feedback.

12,000 consumers, 22,000 spontaneous brand mentions, and 96,000 brand reviews were used to identify the 100 Most Connected Brands in the UK and the US: those that have succeeded in becoming indispensable to consumers’ daily lives. These brands challenge conventions, build unbreakable bonds and define how consumers interact, whilst remaining true to themselves.

Opinium has also launched its inaugural Most Connected Brands Index for US brands.

Biggest movers and shakers in this year’s Index

The key headlines from the 2019 Most Connected Brands Index show that the brands that have climbed the charts most successfully are Aldi (placed 9th in 2019 vs. 21st in 2018), Sky (32nd in 2019 vs. 62nd in 2018) and Volkswagen (60th in 2019 vs. 72nd in 2018). Aldi becomes the first supermarket to make it into the top 10, while exclusive hits like the Game of Thrones finale have propelled Sky up the rankings. Meanwhile Volkswagen gains 12 places as it appears to be recovering from the reputational damage of their emissions scandal.

Samsung has shot up to fourth, a rise of three places, overtaking their smartphone rival Apple, which now lies in 14th place – a fall of nine places.

Netflix, with its personalised service and recommendations function, narrowly misses out on a top 10 spot, but still beats less bespoke channels such as the BBC which places 19th.

Adam Drummond, Associate Director at Opinium comments: “Sky and Netflix are among the big winners from this year’s Most Connected Brands and this speaks to the impact that having a personalised offering can have on your emotional connection with consumers. Compare that with the BBC which falls 15 places in our ranking, buffeted by its prominence in the Brexit debate but also the relative absence of big recent hits.

While the brands Remainers and Leavers feel emotionally connected to are very similar overall, there are stark differences when it comes to media brands and corresponding lessons for how to target each group. Remainers are much more likely to feel connected to social media brands like WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter while Leavers are better reached through Sky and YouTube.”

Brand                          Remainers                   Leavers

BBC                             4th                                40th     

Sky                              46th                                                            25th

Facebook                     30th                                                            33rd

WhatsApp                    36th                                                            74th

YouTube                      21st                                                             13th

Instagram                     44th                                                            107th

Twitter                         51st                                                             90th

Measuring Connection

Opinium’s Most Connected Brands Index is the combination of four key brand metrics which are weighted together to produce a one number summary of a brand’s ability to connect with consumers. These measures are:

  1. Prominence: The brand’s presence and scale
  2. Distinction: The brand’s unique identity and ability to set trends
  3. Emotion: The brand’s ability to form emotional relationships
  4. Dynamism: The brand’s momentum and social traction

Four key trends impacting connection in 2019

Brand Brexit – the Remain / Leave divide bleeds into peoples’ non-political lives much more than party politics normally does, yet views of brands are divided more by demographics than politics

Brand activism – in 2019, brands that ensure activism is central faucet of their business by altering their day-to-day operations to reflect their principles will drive better consumer connection

Divided generations – stereotypes that certain generations favour certain brands don’t stand true – brand connection is driven more by fundamental social, cultural and technological changes.

Resilience culture – brands that help consumers move away from feelings of anxious helplessness, and build in new parameters for resilience, and empower them to make their own decisions and opinions will thrive in future

James Endersby, Chief Executive at Opinium comments: “Now in its second year, the Most Connected Brands Index is the only ranking that measures consumer connection. To create our Index, we went to the real experts, the people that have the power to build, define and sometimes destroy the brands and businesses marketeers create: the consumers themselves.

“There are lots of brand ratings and rankings with different and complex methodologies. Our Index is quite simple, based on three key areas of consumer behaviour – what they think about, talk about and buy. This is what we think really matters.”

Sector overviews

Financial Services – For the second year running, financial services brands remain few and far between within the top 100 Most Connected UK Brands. However, despite their limited appearance, there are some encouraging signs for the sector, with the retail banking sector making most gains, as these brands continue to innovate and deliver a more frictionless experience for consumers

Tech – The prevalence of tech brands in today’s society is mirrored by the prevalence of tech brands in the Top 100 Most Connected Brands Index. For those that are currently sitting on top, managing the transition from hockey-stick growth and apparent omnipotence to established and respected player is perhaps the next big challenge

Retail – Long standing retailers are faced with challengers appearing and chipping away at brand loyalty – our Index raises the question of whether a good bargain really is what shoppers are looking for from retailers anymore? In this time-poor, world of choice, shoppers are prioritising those retailers who are taking the time to truly understand them, their needs and simply make their life easier

FMCG – The FMCG category remains a powerhouse of brands that consumers are connected to. The challenge is for the major FMCG players to not lose the strong emotional attachment, but find ways and means to keep the brand relevant and engaging across generations without damaging the strong heritage that many of them have

Media & Entertainment – Consumers have never had a greater choice or control of the types of content they consume, leading to a sea change in the ways in which consumers watch TV shows, movies, and videos, shifting towards streaming and production of online content away from traditional terrestrial and satellite TV. With so many rival brands competing for viewers, brand loyalty is hard to build. Those that come out on top create ‘Buzz’ and also focus on personalisation and customisation

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