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Cost-of-living crisis pushes budget brands up Most Connected Brands Index

Opinium’s Most Connected Brands Index UK 2022, now entering its fifth year, is a research-driven and human-led study into the top 100 most connected brands in the UK: those that have thrived in making an unforgettable and continuous impact on consumers’ daily lives. This ranking is compiled exclusively from consumer feedback and sheds light on how the population perceive brands and their ability to connect with consumers.

The most connected brands 2022

Historically, the index has always been impacted by the UK’s socio-political climate, and this year is no exception, with the cost-of-living crisis clearly driving preference for some brands over others. Budget brands boom with Aldi rising to 5th place from 15th place in 2021, as well as being ranked top among supermarket brands. Other affordable supermarkets have also jumped up the charts since last year: Asda has risen 14 places, and Iceland is up 9 spots. Conversely, ‘high-end’ supermarkets have fallen out of favour with Waitrose going down 11 places.

Budget retailers have followed a similar pattern, with Primark rising 10 places, George climbing 11 places and Matalan seeing a 14-place rise.

Sustainable issues

Additionally, this year’s results also suggest that the UK population are leading towards more sustainable lifestyles. Affordable car brands with prominence in electric and hybrid vehicles appear on the ranks for the first time, while their luxury counterparts see decreases - Jaguar falls by 20 places and Mercedes-Benz by 13.

The 2022 results also indicate that consumers are making more conscious spending choices within the retail sector. This is seen in the decreased connection to the Fast Fashion giants: H&M falls by 7 places while many others have lost their places on the list entirely, such as ASOS and New Look. Meanwhile, Etsy, eBay and TK

Maxx have all maintained a close relationship with consumers. These changes reveal that the population feel more connected to shopping small, shopping second-hand and shopping sustainably.


Opinium interviewed 6,000 consumers, collated 5,598 spontaneous brand mentions, and facilitated 48,000 brand reviews to identify the winners. A deep dive was taken into the prominence, distinctiveness, emotion, and dynamism of these brands to deliver an accurate and representative scope of how the population interact with them.

Written by Anna Day, marketing executive at Opinium

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