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Brand Storytelling Survey 2016

At Aesop we believe that all great brands have a story to tell.

This study, now in its fourth year, identifies the UK’s top storytelling brands; demonstrating a ‘heroic’ sense of who they are, what they stand for, and what their ultimate purpose is.

To better define an increasingly broad concept…

we asked over 2000 consumers

to identify 180 brands

…against 9 key storytelling criteria, including whether the brands had a ‘clear sense of purpose and vision’ and whether they ‘produce content you want to share or talk about.’

The Results

Apple retains the top spot for the fourth year in a row, closely followed by Amazon moving up to 11 places to 2nd. The National Trust replaces Macmillan as the highest ranked charity. Instagram is a new entry at 14.

Position
Brand
Change from 2015
01
Apple
-
02
Amazon
+11
03
BBC
+1
04
Facebook
+6
05
National Trust
-2
06
Youtube
+19
07
Playstation
+1
08
MacMillan
-6
09
Help for Heroes
NE
10
Google
-1

Apple and Amazon keep us guessing

Apple and Amazon are this year’s top two storytelling brands. With their recent track records for innovative product launches, it’s not surprising that both scored highly against the “I’m intrigued to see what they’ll do next” criteria.

Amazon

Apple

  • 2007 Kindle
  • 2011 Instant Video
  • 2012 Kindle Fire HD
  • 2014 Fire TV Stick
  • 2006 iPod Nano
  • 2008 MacBook Air
  • 2010 iPad
  • 2012 iPhone 5
  • 2015 Apple Watch
2017?

Each year, Amazon seems to introduce new products and features that deliver on its customer-centric vision.

Ed Woodcock, Director of Narrative, Aesop Agency

Supermarket wars

The supermarket wars are a British obsession, and in the last few years the competition has really heated up. This year’s survey reflects the new landscape, with Lidl replacing M&S as the number one grocer.

The discounters continue to develop and deliver on their easy-to-understand narratives about surprising quality and value.

Ed Woodcock, Director of Narrative, Aesop Agency

Ryanair becomes a first class storyteller

Following the reporting of a 66% jump in full-year profits plus nine million additional passengers, Ryanair soars past Virgin into first place amongst the airlines.

  • Ryanair47th
  • Virgin Atlantic49th
  • British Airways53th
  • easyJet69th

Changing their tune seems to have borne results for Ryanair. The reputation for value remains clear, but the tone has softened for the better.

Ed Woodcock, Director of Narrative, Aesop Agency

Archetypes

For the first time, this year’s survey asked consumers to map brands against popular characters each, relating to the 12 archetypes originated by the psychiatrist Carl Jung.