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Women’s favourite brands

When marketing to women, it is important not to use clichés, as stereotypically ‘female’ brands are not women’s top choices. In fact, the favouirite is US food brand Heinz, which has risen from third place to first in market research firm YouGov’s latest list of the most popular brands amongst British women.

Key findings

  • Heinz rises above second-placed Boots, followed by IKEA and John Lewis
  • TUI and Netflix saw the biggest increase in impression amongst women
  • Maltesers is the top confectionery brand

The top ten brands for women

  1. Heinz (+53.7)
  2. Boots (+52.9)
  3. IKEA (+52.2)
  4. John Lewis (+51.6)
  5. Marks & Spencer (+51.4)
  6. Lindt (+50.3)
  7. Maltesers (+50.1)
  8. BBC One (+49)
  9. Dove (+48.8)
  10. BBC iPlayer (+48.8)

Look beyond gender

Discussing the findings, Amelia Brophy, head of data products at YouGov, concludes that it is important to look beyond gender: “Our research shows which brands have performed the best with women over the past year and what is striking about these rankings is the absence of brands with stereotypically ‘female’ messaging or product ranges. The brands that have performed well have looked to understand their customers beyond their gender, speaking to them in a consistent and credible way that women (and men) find really appealing. Although you might be expecting to see personal care and beauty brands in the top ten, the only personal care brand making the cut is Dove, which ranks 9th in our list. Even then, Dove is a brand that looks to speak to a wide range of women, men and children through its advertising, and has a product range that targets different life stages. .

Modern life

“Many of the high ranking brands have an approach of targeting life stages and a more modern view of families through their advertising, such as Boots, Ikea, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, which rank 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. British women clearly appreciate brands that show they understand who they are beyond just gender, with strong and clear value propositions that promote their brand through scandal-free, and generally wholesome advertising.

Heritage matters

“Another trend to highlight, and perhaps a trend that is true of all genders, is that British consumers value brands with legacies and heritage. Brands with an old familiar story, such as Heinz and Boots (1st and 2nd place), and historic brands that have also moved with the times such as BBC One and iPlayer (8th and 10th) have proved popular with women. Our Buzz Rankings released in the beginning of the year, which show the most popular brands to all Brits, show that these brands are universally popular too – with iPlayer and BBC One also placing in this top ten (6th and 10th).”


The 1,590 brands in YouGov BrandIndex were ranked using the Impression score, which asks respondents, “Overall, of which of the following brands do you have Positive/Negative impression?”

The Women’s Rankings chart shows the brands with the highest average Impression scores between 1 February 2018 and 31 January 2019. All brands must be tracked for at least six months to be included in the rankings, and must have been tracked for at least six months in the prior year’s period (as well as being currently tracked) to appear in the movers tables.

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