MENA’s top brands and how they got here
Global market research company YouGov announced its 2015 BrandIndex Buzz rankings on Monday.
The tracker that was used to get the results observed 400 brands in the UAE, 400 in Saudi Arabia and 170 in Egypt, in addition to covering other brands in countries outside the region.
Respondents were asked about positive or negative news and information they learned about a specific brand in the past two weeks to get the overall sentiment of the public.
The responses were then calculated to rank the brands with the highest “buzz” scores between January and December 2015.
Below is a list of the top brands in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, along with a glimpse into the efforts these brands made to reach out to the public and create such a positive sentiment.
In the UAE, Emirates Airline was ranked the “most positively perceived” brand, due to the high number of sponsorships and campaigns.
The Dubai-based carrier has a large sponsorship portfolio, both in the UAE and internationally, across different sectors, especially sports and arts and culture.
In the sporting world, Emirates sponsors many top-level athletes and sport teams, across football, cricket, horse-racing, golf, tennis, rugby and motor sports.
For instance, one of the most publicised sponsorships by the airline includes Spain’s Real Madrid Football Club.
Other than sports, Emirates also sponsors several arts and culture events, including the Australian Symphonies, Dubai International Film Festival, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises, among others.
The airline made international headlines after releasing a commercial featuring Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston onboard Emirates’ A380 aircraft. The airline was also recently ranked among the world’s top 20 safest airlines, a ranking provided by Airline Ratings website.
Emirates is further expanding is fleet by adding 21 Airbus A3980s and 16 Boeing 777-300ERs.
After taking the fifth spot last year, the major food and beverage producer climbed to the top, raking as the most positively perceived brand in Saudi Arabia.
The publicly listed Saudi company sponsors a number of educational and scientific awards targeting students, in addition to its involvement in several charitable initiatives within Saudi Arabia and the region.
Almarai is the largest dairy company in the Gulf and announced on Monday a 13 per cent rise in profit for the fourth quarter of 2015, which reached SAR483.7 million, compared with SAR428m in the same period of 2015.
Earlier this month, Almarai purchased farmland in the US state of California for SAR119.3m to grow fodder, adding a new source to its alfalfa hay supply. The company already owns land in Arizona.
Last December, Almarai’s board of directors recommended a cash dividend of SAR1.15 per share for 2015.
The massive social network has been given credit for sparking Egypt’s mass revolution in 2011 that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak. The website still seems to be the Egyptians’ favourite, as it was ranked the most positively perceived brand in the North African country.
The country is so in tune with the platform that the Facebook page of its president, Abdel Fattah El Sisi, was highlighted for getting the largest number of likes in the Middle East and the sixth-largest internationally. The page has just over six million Facebook likes.
It could be that Facebook continues to represent a haven for freedom of speech and expression in the country, despite numerous arrests of Facebook activists and censorship attempts by the Egyptian authorities.
Other countries covered by YouGov’s BrandIndex Buzz include: the United States, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, Canada, China, Singapore, Sweden, Finland, France, Thailand, Netherlands, Germany and India.