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Brand of the Year 2011 shortlist

As expected, The Marketing Society Brand of the Year 2011 award, in association with ITV and Marketing, is being hotly contested.

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Anyone who thought that brands would become insignificant during the downturn has been proved wrong. The candidates for The Marketing Society's Brand of the Year 2011 award, in association with ITV and Marketing, show that powerful branding is vital when the going gets tough.

"Having a trusted brand is more important than ever when people start counting the pennies," argues Julia Porter, ITV marketing director. "Being able to engage with consumers and earn their trust is the hallmark of strong brands and this year's nominations are proof of that."

The Marketing Society's Brand of the Year is the most prestigious award an advertiser can win. Chosen by its peers - the readers of Marketing and attendees at The Marketing Society's annual dinner on 29 November - the Brand of the Year has to meet some tough criteria.

A brand's impact on consumers, performance in its own marketplace, the bravery and originality of its innovations, effectiveness of its advertising and financial performance where appropriate: these are the factors which determine the Brand of the Year. Here, we present the top 20 brands, which were chosen by Marketing readers over the past month. Each one is in the running, and each can boast an impressive array of achievements.

Department-store chain John Lewis took the crown in 2010, following more than 12,000 votes cast ahead of the final live poll at The Marketing Society dinner. While John Lewis' modern and traditional values won out in 2010, what will it be that separates one company from a list of excellent contenders to become Brand of the Year 2011?

Vote for who you think deserves to win The Marketing Society's Brand of the Year 2011 in association with ITV

Marketing Society Brand of the Year shortlist 2011

Apple

While Apple launched no products in 2011 to match the iPad or iPhone 4, the death of co-founder Steve Jobs served to remind the world how much the brand has changed our relationship with technology. Apple is surely in the early running for brand of the century, let alone 2011.

Barclaycard



The credit-card brand is busy taking the pain out of PINs with its contactless 'swipe' technology. The marketing for the technology has also been a hit, in particular the 'Rollercoaster' ad, by Bartle Bogle Hegarty. This demonstrated the benefits of contactless cards with images of a New York worker careering across the city flashing his plastic.

British Airways


BA has managed to rise above the turbulence of previous years with its recent ad campaign, by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, featuring its promise: 'To fly. To serve.' The brand will hope the engaging executions can help renew its position as one of the world's top airlines.

Expedia


The online travel brand has sought to give its marketing a human face with this year's 'People-shaped travel' campaign by Ogilvy & Mather. It is part of the brand's strategy of aiming to give travellers a personalised experience, thereby becoming a trusted travel partner.

Foster's



Lager brand Foster's has continued its comedy associations through ads featuring Aussies Brad and Dan and a host of tie-ups with comedians including Steve Coogan (as Alan Partridge), Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. In September, it launched Foster's Gold, a 4.8% premium bottled lager. By mid-October, it had claimed an 8.8% volume market share.

Help for Heroes


The charity, set up in 2007 to help wounded British servicemen and women, has captured the hearts of the nation and raised millions of pounds. The brand has been carefully nurtured, encouraging thousands to participate in fundraising activities.

Hiscox


The insurance company has appointed a raft of agencies to boost its profile and signed a sponsorship deal with Channel 4 for a series of programmes advertised as 'Intelligent thinking on 4'. Brand awareness has increased and the company says it is driving marketing efficiency in both retention and acquisition of customers.

IBM


IBM marked its centenary this year with the launch of the 'Smarter Planet' strategy, showing how its chip technology helps the environment. 'Big Blue', which has just appointed Ginni Rometty, its head of sales, marketing and strategy, to the chief executive role, has maintained its number-two position in Interbrand's 2011 brand-valuation survey.

Innocent Drinks


Sales have bounced back for the smoothies and ready-meals producer. It has expanded into fresh areas, and is taking on Tropicana with the launch of an orange juice line. Still much loved for its quirky marketing, the brand has continued to entertain in the aftermath of selling a majority stake to Coca-Cola.

Jaguar Land Rover


Home to two of Britain's leading car marques, Jaguar Land Rover has had a remarkable year, reporting profits of more than £1bn as sales boomed in India and China. It was also boosted when its owner, Tata Motors, announced significant investment in its UK Halewood plant, to produce the Range Rover Evoque model.

John Lewis


The department-store chain was 2010's brand of the year, but can it repeat that success It has not put a foot wrong so far, and has created a strong follow-up to the 'Always a woman' campaign with its latest ad, by Adam & Eve, which focuses on electrical goods.

London 2012


The Olympics brand has entered the UK marketing scene with aplomb and promises to engage for some time to come. Despite some operational setbacks, such as media controversy over ticket allocation, it promises to become one of the country's best-loved brands of the decade.

LoveFilm


LoveFilm's full acquisition by Amazon earlier this year offers opportunities such as integration with the online retailer's movie database IMDB, European expansion and further streaming through games consoles. Meanwhile, it has extended to the PlayStation 3 games console and, more recently, launched on the iPad.

Lucozade



This year's relaunch campaign promises to put the fizz back into Lucozade's marketing. It uses a music-driven strategy, featuring stars Tinie Tempah and DJ Fresh. The latter surged to number-one in the charts with his Louder track, used in the brand's ads. Lucozade is steadily reasserting its position as the UK's leading energyand sports-drink brand.

Morrisons


Morrisons has made great strides this year in modernising its business. It has opened its first convenience store, bought a stake in US online retailer FreshDirect and hired former Apple online store boss Simon Thompson to launch its transactional website. All eyes will be on how Morrisons performs against its three main rivals this Christmas.

O2



The Telefonica-owned mobile brand continues to build on its position in the UK market with a high-profile sponsorship strategy. Recent activity focused on its sponsorship of the England rugby team during the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The brand is considered one of the most customer-centric mobile network and broadband providers.

The Royal Family


With April's wedding of Kate and Wills, the Royal Family gained relevancy for a younger generation. The Queen's historic visit to Ireland in May also reinforced the monarchy's global brand appeal. The Prince of Wales, meanwhile, reached out to marketers via a collaboration with The Marketing Society on his 'Start' initiative.

Sky


The satellite TV, broadband and telephony operator was boosted when it secured the rights to show a half-share of Formula One motor racing. Its launch of the Sky Atlantic channel was another plus. BSkyB sailed past the £1bn profit mark, with a £1.07bn profit for the year to June as it boosted customer numbers by nearly 500,000, to 10.3m.

Tyrrells


Tyrrells is predicted to more than double its sales to £40m this year. It has hired former Cadbury and Unilever marketer Oliver Rudgard to continue its product-extension strategy, which already includes vegetable crisps, popcorn and rice crackers. Its hand-cooked crisps prove that there is life in the old spuds yet, and it is set for further international expansion

Yeo Valley


The David and Goliath story continues as Yeo Valley battles against Muller, but with a tenth of its rival's marketing budget. It is following its X Factor 'rapping farmers' tie-up of last year by using a boy band send-up act, The Churned, in its ads. The parody already has almost 500,000 YouTube views. How else would you sell organic yoghurt to the masses

This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk

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