Microsoft tops brand poll

Microsoft is winning the battle of the brands with experts ranking it top when it comes to name reputation, a UK report today suggests.

The computer giant retook the number one position from Google, which fell to fifth in the annual Business Superbrand Top 500 survey.

Rolls-Royce Group retained its second position in the 2010 poll, with BlackBerry rising from 42nd to third.

The annual survey compiled by The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA) polled a panel of experts and more than 1,700 British business professionals.

They judged brands on their perceived quality, reliability and distinction.

The results showed that in terms of brand perception, it was a good year for the UK airline industry. Virgin Atlantic soared to fourth, with British Airways climbing to eighth.

But predictably, given the rough year they have had, financial institutions slumped in the 2010 survey.

The list of top 10 fallers in the poll included four banks, among them UBS and Morgan Stanley.

Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland crashed out of the top 500 altogether.

HSBC and Barclays bucked the trend by rising in the 2010 rankings. Both institutions avoided direct British government support to prop them up.

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of TCBA, said: "Once again Microsoft and Google have proved their potency by fighting it out for the top spots, whilst many other brands have reaffirmed their consistent performance year-on-year.

"The financial services sector, however, has seen mixed results with the investment banks particularly losing ground over the year, whilst The Co-operative Bank and its ethically focused strategy and co-operative structure powers forward, climbing 91 places."

The top 10 brands were:

1 Microsoft

2 Rolls-Royce Group

3 BlackBerry

4 Virgin Atlantic

5 Google

6 London Stock Exchange

7 GlaxoSmithKline

8 British Airways

9 Visa

10 PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

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