Engines run smoothly again as Rolls-Royce is named top brand

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

It experienced a wretched year that saw its chief executive step down and the failure of one of its engines that could have resulted in the crash of an Airbus plane carrying 469 passengers. Then last week one of its bosses accompanied David Cameron on his ill-fated tour to bang the drum for Britain's defence industry.

Yet a remarkably fortuitous sense of timing, coupled with its renowned sense of British stoicism, has led to the Rolls-Royce Group toppling Microsoft as the most respected brand in the UK.

Compiled by The Centre for Brand Analysis, which reflects the views of a panel of 2,000 business professionals, Rolls-Royce Group has taken the top spot in the Business Superbrands index for the first time since 2007. More than 1,100 brands were shortlisted for the survey, judged by professionals from the marketing, financial services and manufacturing sectors. Brands were rated against a number of criteria including quality, distinction – and reliability.

But the champagne at Rolls-Royce's Derby headquarters may have to be kept on ice for a while longer. The survey was compiled just before the dramatic failure of one of its Trent 900 engines, which exploded while powering an Airbus A380 on a Qantas plane last November, forcing the jet into an emergency landing in Singapore. The incident led to every Trent 900 in service being examined and partly or entirely replaced, at a cost to the firm of £56m. Both Airbus and Qantas are understood to be negotiating a commercial compensation agreement.

"It's difficult to tell what would have happened if the survey had been conducted after that event," said Stephen Cheliotis, chief executive of The Centre of Brand Analysis. At the time of the incident, Rolls-Royce went into communication lockdown.

Branding specialists warned yesterday of a "perception creep" between Rolls-Royce, the decadent purveyor of luxury cars, and its engineering counterpart Rolls-Royce Group. "It's hard to separate one without thinking of the other," said Malcolm White, of ad agency Krow. "Rolls-Royce still carries equities of the UK aeronautical pedigree and is a reminder that Great Britain has not lost sight of its manufacturing heritage."

The airline sector did particularly badly in the survey. British Airways, hampered by union strikes and bad weather, slumped from eight in 2010 to No 48. Virgin Atlantic's credibility also dropped significantly, falling from fourth position in 2010 to 14th.

As a testament to Germany's manufacturing recovery, Bosch made its debut in the top 10. Apple, which recently released the fourth generation iPhone and iPad variant to critical acclaim, came fifth and the top 10 also included Google, Pricewaterhouse- coopers, Visa, the London Stock Exchange and GlaxoSmithKline.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Sport
Remy Cabella celebrates his goal against Hull
footballLive: All the latest from today's Premier League matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee