Rival Spark: The Great British Brand-off; UK Public Sees King’s Cultural Impact as Similar to Bisto (May 2023)

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On the eve of King Charles’ coronation, the British public viewed his impact on UK culture similarly to that of the gravy brand Bisto and car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover. A survey by the marketing consultancy Rival, asking the British public about the positive or negative impact people, organizations and brands have on UK culture, found that while the NHS, Queen Elizabeth, Cadbury and M&S all ranked highly, King Charles placed mid-table on average - between Jaguar / Land Rover and the BBC. 

View the full research below.

While a set of heritage brands such as Cadbury, M&S, Yorkshire Tea & Boots were uniformly positive across ages, His Royal Highness’ cultural impact varied significantly with 51% of 18-34 Brits stating his impact on UK culture was ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ versus 74% of 55+ and 65% overall. Similarly heritage British cultural brands Mini Cooper (viewed ‘positively / very positively’ by 62% of 18-34 vs. 81% of 55+) and Fortnum & Mason (31% of 18-34 vs 57% of 55+), saw similar declines in perceived cultural impact amongst younger audiences. Alternatively, younger Brits were more likely to positively view the cultural impact of Tesco, Morrison’s, Sky Sports and challenger brands such as Monzo and Gymshark. 

Opinions on the King’s impact were more divisive than many of the brands and organizations tracked, with 14% of the public saying his cultural impact was ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’, similar to Carling (16%), Wetherspoons (17%), the BBC (19%) and British Gas (19%). However, research showed much higher negativity for the Prime Minister (41%), the Daily Mail (32%) and BP (23%).

Beyond the King’s initial ranking, the data show a lack of newer brands scaling to challenge the pantheon of classic British culture. Starling Bank, Gymshark, Monzo and others have grown to make economic impact in their respective markets, as well as showing greater support amongst younger audiences, but have yet to scale to the level of widely appreciated British classics. 

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