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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before