The Body Shop praised by consumers as brand with best reputation in Britain

06 Mar 2008|Added Value

The Body Shop has been praised by customers as the British brand with the best corporate reputation, according to a new survey by brand consultancy Added Value. Despite The Body Shop’s acquisition by the global beauty group, L’Oreal, it remains a brand recognised for its ethical viewpoint, although it may need to keep abreast of changing consumer attitudes to hold onto its leadership position.

The research asked 1000 consumers in the UK to spontaneously name the brands that had the worst and best image in terms of corporate reputation. There’s a definite halo effect in the groceries sector with the supermarkets all faring well in consumer’s eyes with Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and, of course, the Co-Op, getting a mention. Meanwhile, as sales of Fairtrade products rocketed by 81% to £495m last year, Fairtrade was applauded by consumers for its responsible image, despite the fact that it relies on other brands to raise awareness.

Consumers have a love/hate relationship with Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco, which accounts for £1 in every £3 spent on food and £1 in every £12 spent on the high street. While Tesco was named as the brand with the second best image, it also reached second place as a brand with a bad image. Tesco’s value proposition endears the retailer to customers but its perceived scale and ability to drive independent shops off the high street appears to be damaging its image.

“We are seeing increasingly clear correlations between a brand’s responsible image and the strength of the consumer relationship,” says Angus Porter, CEO Added Value. “Get it right and there’s a genuine opportunity to gain the consumer loyalty and ethical leadership of companies like M&S.”

However, brands must ensure they avoid greenwashing. “Any ethical strategy must begin with the brand and be core to the brand’s DNA for it to gain credibility in consumer’s eyes, “adds Porter. “Focus on positive initiatives that consumers can get involved in so they can share the journey.”

The research will be presented at Added Value’s Branding for Good Summit, ‘Green 2.0, Avoid the Greenwash,’ on March 6th, which will also feature a keynote interview with Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO WPP.

Good Image (Top 10)
Body Shop
Tesco
Co-op /Cooperative bank
Marks & Spencer
Sainsbury
Virgin
Fairtrade
Waitrose
Asda
Ecover

Bad image (Top 10)
McDonalds
Tesco
BP
Nestle
Coca Cola
Airlines
BT
GAP
Shell
Nike

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