Meet the “happiest” brands in the UK: Cadbury, Andrex, Google and more

The London-based advertising agency isobel has conducted an online survey among 1250 UK adults in December 2013 to discover the happiest brands in the UK. As it turns out, for the British the happiest brands are digital giants, confectionary and body care labels. The ranking is topped by Cadbury, Andrex, Google, Fairy and Nivea, with a range of banks and political parties occupying the bottom of the list.


Respondents were asked to link the suggested brands to a range of “happy” characteristics that the brands could have—for instance, people chose a particular brand if it could be identified as optimistic or pessimistic, playful or boring, happy or sad, trustworthy or not trustworthy, and more. Plus, the system also measured the speed of response to analyze how long it took a consumer to give a brand any of the characteristics, just to understand if the people hesitate before choosing a particular option.

“We believe if we can connect a brand to a feeling of personal happiness, in however small a way, then that brand will have a stronger emotional connection within the consumer and stronger place in his or her long-term memory. And so that brand will be better liked, better recalled and chosen more often. So a happy brand will be a successful brand,” commented Steve Hastings, Planning Partner, isobel.

As to social media platform, YouTube, which is #1 in its category and #6 on a general list, has outperformed Facebook and Twitter that ranked #72 and #74 respectively. Respondents do not really believe these two brands: when it comes to trustworthiness, they have been voted #85 and #83 correspondingly. The happiest supermarket chain is Aldi (#21) that managed to leave Tesco (#58) and Co-op (#69) far behind. As to the trustworthy supermarket brands, Tesco has dropped lower than any of its rivals with its 68th ranking. Unlike Tesco, Aldi is the 19th brand on the “trustworthiness” brands list.

“Aldi are flying high thanks to a strong base in the North East and North West (1st and 3rd respectively) and it seems that the middle-class are waking up to the Aldi offer. Aldi has the clearest position, offering something different, and, arguably, most useful during these recessionary times,” adds Mr. Hastings.

What’s also interesting, the 91st and 95th place respectively are occupied by the Daily Mail and The Express, meaning that people don’t really consider them the source of optimism or trustworthy content. The British Airways is rated as the most trusted airline, but Virgin Atlantic is the happiest in general. Apple was not rated as a brand that channels impact, but it still got into the top 10 “playful” brands. Interestingly, female respondents consider Google the happiest brand, while men voted for Andrex, a toilet paper brand.