Emirates airline has outshined over 400 local and international brands, including technology titans Samsung and Apple, and internet goliaths WhatsApp, Google, Facebook and YouTube in the UAE brand ranking for the first-half of 2015.
Rated the UAE’s Best Mid-Year Brand by YouGov Brand Index, Emirates was also the UAE’s most positively perceived home-grown brand for 2014.
Last year, the world’s largest carrier was rated third, after Samsung and Google in the first half of 2014.
YouGov Brand Index tracks over 400 brands in the UAE and the rankings are created using the Buzz score, which is calculated by asking respondents if they have 'heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word-of-mouth'.
The abundance of positive noise also makes it the third highest Buzz score improver for 2015, increasing its score by 4.5 points since this time last year (score: 56.7).
Overall, the top 10 rankings are still dominated by digital-based brands, which have gradually been pushing out fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) favourites who've scored highly in previous years.
WhatsApp (score: 51.3) and video-sharing platform YouTube (36) debut for the first time, flying into second and seventh place, respectively, squeezing out household names, Almarai and Carrefour after a two-year stint in the Top 10.
There is an unexpected slip for Samsung losing its Buzz crown since this time last year, now in third (score: 44.1) whilst Apple gains a place just behind in fourth (score: 41.1).
It’s a surprising turn of events for Google who falls to the middle of the leaderboard in fifth (score: 40.1) for the first half of the year.
However, Facebook and Apple iPhone are holding their ground as non-movers in sixth (score: 38) and eighth place (34.9), respectively.
Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways (score: 36) sails into the top 10 this year, making its debut appearance in seventh equal position with YouTube.
The launch of a revolutionary new airline class ‘The Residence’ and advertising campaign, ‘Flying Reimagined’ starring Australian actress Nicole Kidman, sees Etihad step up a gear in 2015, also gaining the highest Buzz score improvement in the Emirates (score increase: 6.7).
Real estate brands round up the top 10, with mega property developer Emaar dropping two places from seventh to ninth (score: 34.2) , while Dubai Mall holds steady as a non-mover in tenth place (score: 31.9).
"It's clear digital-based brands are currently riding high amongst the public's opinion, taking up seven of the UAE's top 10 most positively perceived brands", says YouGov's Managing Director, Kailash Nagdev.
"However, a strong marketing push from Emirates and Etihad Airways is clearly paying off, giving the technology power-houses a run for their money.
“It will be interesting to see how the next six months unfolds as regional competition between the carriers heats up."
Buzz scores are based on a two week rolling average ranging from 100 to -100, and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive.
A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback. They measure recent brand sentiment and indicate the level and direction of recent awareness (positive or negative) about a brand.