• Transform magazine
  • April 07, 2020


Emirates named UAE's best-received brand for third year


For much of the UK population, exposure to the Emirates airline brand results from a 2007 sponsorship agreement with Premier League football club, Arsenal F.C. As a result, the ‘Fly Emirates’ logo has become engrained in the visual canon of the UK’s corporate landscape. Its high brand awareness now translates to function, however - the fiscal year 2016/2017 saw Emirates fly around 56 million passengers to their destinations.

And, in research carried out by international market research firm YouGov BrandIndex, positive perceptions of the Emirates brand are not confined only to Arsenal FC supporters. In YouGov’s ‘Best Brand Rankings’ research, carried out globally to determine brand reputation and perception, the Emirates brand was found to be the most positively perceived brand in the UAE for the third year running. Calculated according to if an individual had ‘Heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word-of-mouth,’ YouGov determined that Emirates remains favourable in the UAE region particularly.

However, the Emirates brand sits as something of an anomaly in the tech-heavy top ten brands compiled from the YouGov research. Global instant messaging services WhatsApp comes in at number two, followed closely by iPhone, Apple, Facebook and Samsung. In fact, the only other no-tech brand is French supermarket brand Carrefour at number seven – Google, YouTube and Samsung Galaxy make up the remaining three spots.

Yet, says Scott Booth, head of data products in MENA, for a region as tech-savvy as the UAE, it is not surprising to see such a lack of diversity in the top ten brands. Indeed, Emirates should be cheered that its brand awareness remains high, even if UAE brand equity seems so intrinsically bound up with digital cognisance. “As a leading market in adopting digital technologies, it is no surprise to see UAE consumers demonstrate considerable resonance with leading tech brands,” says Booth. “This trend is clearly demonstrated in 2017 by the ‘Best Brand Rankings’ featuring eight digital brands for the first time, and three smartphone brands sitting at the top of the improvers list.”

“However, Emirates and Carrefour are showing the continued ability of leading non-tech brands to assert themselves among consumers in today’s tech-savvy market,” Booth explains.

YouGov’s list of UAE ‘Top 10 most improved best brand rankings 2017’ is testament to this viewpoint, with airline flydubai, cleaning brand Dettol and food brand Almarai making appearances in the last five places. Perhaps, as brands external to the UAE continue to enter the Middle East region, and the global tech market remains monopolised by a few conglomerates, next year’s ‘Best Brand Rankings’ will show a marked difference in consumer patterns. For now, Emirates’ approximately 65,000 employees can celebrate the positive perceptions the brand has on a very important market segment.

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