When watch executives and enthusiasts gather at events like WATCHPRO Salon and Dubai Watch Week, a conversation about Rolex is never far away, and the most cheerful comments you hear will be in the grudging respect category.
Rolex’s dominance, loftiness and staggering success rarely elicit much above envy.
That feeling in watch circles is not leaking out into the wider public, it would seem, because Rolex has been crowned the number one consumer Superbrand for the second year running.
And I don’t just mean number one up against Omega, Cartier or TAG Heuer. It tops a league that includes toy makers and toilet roll manufacturers.
“While this year has continued to see monumental changes in the way the British public live and shop, we still rely on the comfort provided by major brands. A huge congratulations to Rolex which, continues to display a consistency for quality and luxury. It has missed out on being in the top ten list only once in the past ten years,” says Damon Segal, CEO of Superbrands UK.
The UK Superbrands annual survey provides a barometer into how brands are viewed by tracking their history, development and achievements.
Lego, a previous winner, moves back up the table to second after a fall to fifth place last year, while payment card company Visa comes in at third.
Dyson sees a return to the leading pack after a two-year absence soaring to fourth place while toilet roll producer Andrex reaches number five.
Apple is in sixth place, halting a decline in the public’s esteem towards multinational tech giants that had previously threatened its standing.
Mercedes Benz is the top named carmaker at number seven overall, and British Airways is bouncing back after a few years out of favour as the highest-rated airline at number eight. Coca Cola and Samsung make up the remaining places in the top ten.
When it comes to general trends, the effects of lock downs are clear. Netflix, Amazon, PayPal and Just Eat are seen as the brands that have risen most in relevance to the way people are now living as we increasingly sign up to TV subscription services, shop online and order more home meal deliveries.
The biggest mover among consumer brands was indulgent chocolate maker Lindt which made the top 20 for the first time.
Among business brands Pfizer and AstraZeneca soared 46 and 100 places respectively reflecting the impact of the pandemic on reputations. Aldi was seen as the most relevant supermarket. Among business professionals the top name brand was Google, with tech companies occupying the first four places.
This year 3,219 brands were assessed across 152 categories for quality, reliability and distinction, the three factors inherent in a Superbrand, with an initial vote by 2,500 consumers and 2,500 business professionals independently conducted by TCBA and Dynata, along with scoring by a panel of independent brand professionals and marketing experts.
There is a cautionary tale among results.
The data shows a significant change in how consumers regard high street retailers, and while John Lewis and M&S are still regarded as Superbrands, they no longer feature as favourites.
John Lewis was last in the top ten in 2017 and M&S 2018.
The BBC is another institution that has seen a significant decline in public regard and has failed to feature in the main list since 2015.
Top 10 Ranking Consumer Superbrands:
7. Mercedes Benz
8. British Airways