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Most Connected UK Brands Index 2023: Budget brands rise to the top

With regards to the rising cost of living there may be some lights at the end of some tunnels, but insight agency Opinium’s latest Top 100 Most Connected UK Brands Index (MCB) implies that for consumers the cost-of-living crisis continues apace. Now in its sixth year, MCB Index 2023 has found that, whilst Amazon tops the list for the sixth year in a row, budget brands have risen up the rankings as stretched consumers seek to make savings where possible.

Budget brands rule

It’s interesting to see that several budget supermarkets have jumped up the charts since last year, with Aldi holding its spot in the top five, up one place since 2022. In addition to this we have seen Lidl rise 8 places, taking it into the top 20, and frozen food retailer Iceland has also risen 4 places.

We see this trend continue when looking at other brands generally associated with making savings, with retailers such as outlet brand TK Maxx rising 18 places since last year’s Index was compiled.

RANK

RANK CHANGE

Brand

2022

2023

2022-2023

Aldi

5

4

+1

Lidl

25

17

+8

Iceland

34

30

+4

TK Maxx

87

69

+18

Value matters

It is important, however, when considering how best to connect with consumers, that brands do not get too focused on seeking to deliver their goods or services at the most budget price. Looking in more detail at the brands included in this year’s MCB Index it is clear that even in these tough economic times, consumers do not simply equate ‘value’ with how much something costs. Similar to the budget supermarkets and shopping brands, heritage brands, those which have invested in and built strong emotional connections with consumers, such as the BBC, Fairy and M&S have also all risen up the rankings.

Heritage brands

Perhaps as a result of the financial turmoil and general uncertainty during the last 12 months, consumers have been turning to heritage brands they know they can rely on, with the BBC (+13), Fairy (+5) and M&S (+6) all climbing up the MCB Index. It is worth bearing this reliability in mind when thinking about how best to engage consumers - sometimes consistency of messaging, and a clear and stable tone of voice can be just as essential as being able to offer a bargain.

Methodology

Opinium interviewed 6,000 consumers, collated 6,284 spontaneous brand mentions, and facilitated 48,000 brand reviews to identify the 100 Most Connected Brands in the UK: 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.

The full Most Connected Brands Index can be viewed here.

Written by Steve Looney, research director at Opinium

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