23rd September 2019:
Who is the Scottish Brands Index ‘Brand of the Year 2019’?

The 56 Degree Insight team are excited to share the final results from our survey of 16 iconic Scottish brands - the 2019 Scottish Brands Index.  This survey adds a Scottish flavour to brand evaluation – a unique addition to the Scottish marketplace.  Each week we have examined the various metrics of brand success.  This week, we bring it all together and reveal the most successful brands in our survey…


When 56 Degree Insight launched in mid-June, we mentioned that we would be launching a survey of a range of Scottish brands among a representative sample of the Scottish population.  The survey included 16 iconic Scottish brands and fieldwork was undertaken in June-July and over the last few weeks we have been sharing the results of the performance of each brand on a range of measures.  This article brings the results together and places the brands in a league table to reveal their relative strengths and, of course, the 56 Degree Insight Scottish Brand of the Year 2019.

There are a range of excellent measures out there which evaluate brand performance across a range of well-established metrics.  Within a Scottish context however, we believed there was a gap to fill so created the 56 Degree Insight Scottish Brands Index to provide a more Scottish perspective to brand evaluation.  Our focus was on 16 iconic consumer-facing Scottish brands – all ‘Scottish’ in their origins and/or their focus.

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The list of brands is not exhaustive – we could not cover an open-ended number of brands in the survey – but is designed to provide coverage across a range of sectors and industries from food & drink, to transport to sport, banking and utilities.

We spoke to over 2,000 Scots during June and July using the only face-to-face omnibus survey available in Scotland, Kantar’s Scottish Opinion Survey to which the 56DI team have direct access. The survey is nationally representative, and so the results can be taken as indicative of the views of the Scottish population.

Over the last few weeks, we have been releasing the results from each of the range of questions asked about each brand. In week 1, we looked at levels of Trust in the brands and then the following week, we asked Scots the extent to which each brand demonstrated Innovation.  The focus then turned to three inter-connected measures - Recognition, Performance and Involvement/Ambivalence and then we asked Scots which brands were likely to have the most promising Future Prospects. The importance of Advocacy and Recommendation was examined next, and last week, we looked at ‘Scottishness’ – the extent to which each brand portrays a positive image of Scotland. All of these reports can be downloaded from our website.

How has the Index been calculated?

The diagram below illustrates the make-up of the Scottish Brands Index.  We have focused on the six key input measures and, in each case, recorded the percentage of Scots who provided a ‘top-two box’ rating (e.g. Very Innovative + Quite Innovative). The exceptions were the Advocacy and Scottishness questions which were asked in a slightly different way but where our analysis is based on analysing a similar proportion of positive comments.

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Each of the six input measures were given an equal weighting: we were keen that the Index would be based on a score out of 100 – therefore each measure could achieve a maximum score of 100 ÷ 6 = 16.7. So, if 75% of Scots either definitely or probably trusted that brand, this would contribute 75%x16.7 of the overall Index (12.5 in this case). By adding the 6 elements together, we get the overall Index score for each brand.

The Results!

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Out of the 16 brands and organisations covered, the brand which had the most consistently positive performance across all of the key metrics was Tunnock’s – and with an overall Index score of 81, it is the highest rated brand in our survey.  The general popularity of relative household name Scottish food and drink brands is demonstrated by those placed 2nd to 5th all come from this sector - AG Barr, Baxters, Walkers and Highland Spring. The Scottish Rugby Union is the highest placed non-foods brand in 6th, whilst Caledonian MacBrayne and the ‘youngest’ brand in the survey, BrewDog, make up the top half of the table.

There is quite a spread of scores – and at the bottom of our table, by some distance, is the Scottish FA with an overall score of only 28 – in stark contrast to its rugby equivalent. Also performing relatively poorly is the Clydesdale Bank in 15th place with an Index score of 37 – 13 points behind the other financial services representative, the Bank of Scotland. Operational problems have undoubtedly contributed to Scotrail’s 14th placing, while the two energy brands, Scottish Power and SSE have similarly low ratings.  Regional airline Loganair also performs below average and finishes in 11th position.

Each brand has different challenges

The chart below provides a breakdown of the Index score for each of the 16 brands. In each case, it illustrates the impact of each of the 6 metrics into the overall Index score. The percentages represent the contribution of each metric to the overall performance – the higher the percentage, the greater the impact of that metric on the overall score. Where percentages are low, they represent areas where additional focus would be likely to have a beneficial impact on the overall brand performance.

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If performance on all six metrics was equal, each would contribute 16%-17% to the overall score. Indeed, for the top three brands, there is a fairly equal balance across all 6 measures. However, for most of the other brands, we see that some metrics are having a more positive effect than others. Towards the top of the league table, ‘painting a positive image of Scotland’ is having a disproportionately larger impact for Walkers, Highland Spring, the SRU and Caledonian MacBrayne.

As we go towards the bottom of the table however, two variables tend to drag down the overall score for many of the brands – perceived performance (the extent to which Scots feel the brands are doing ‘a good job’) and advocacy. Clearly, for the poorly performing brands, a strategic focus on performance will play a key role in improving the overall rating and positioning of each brand.

What next?

The Scottish Brands Index analysis has provided some interesting cross-sector comparisons of brand performance across a range of measures – and it is our intention to repeat the exercise in Summer 2020 with a different set of Scottish brands.


But for now, well done to the Tunnock’s team - a brand which is getting an awful lot right at the moment!

In the meantime however, we are collaborating with colleagues at AudienceNet, to survey a large sample of United States residents who have ancestral or family ties with Scotland.We will be evaluating a range of Scottish food and drink brands which have a presence in North America and establish the potential for growth for these brands in this market.

For further information about the Scottish Brands Index or our upcoming US research, please just contact us using any of the links below. 

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