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Tue 22 Jan 2019 10:08 AM

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Emirates, WhatsApp among most popular brands in Middle East

Samsung Galaxy and Apple lost prime spots to Chinese tech giant Huawei

Emirates, WhatsApp among most popular brands in Middle East

In 2018, UAE-based carrier Emirates, fast food chain Al Baik and messaging service WhatsApp generated the most positive ‘buzz’ or perception in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt respectively, according to the annual YouGov BrandIndex Buzz Rankings.

The report measures the public’s perception of brands on a daily basis across a range of metrics including whether people have heard positive or negative news about a brand during the previous two weeks.

In the UAE, electronic giant Samsung saw a surge in popularity, climbing up to second position from sixth last year. Samsung Galaxy created a lot of positive noise with the launch of its new phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, leading to a rise in its Buzz score and improving from tenth in the 2017 rankings to fifth in 2018.

While its competitor Apple and its iPhone handset retain their places in the top ten rankings, they dropped from fourth and third last year, to sixth and seventh, respectively.

In Saudi Arabia, however, Samsung Galaxy lost its spot in the top 10 rankings, while iPhone saw a drop in its rank from third to sixth this year. Meanwhile, Chinese tech giant Huawei showed significant improvements in its Buzz score in kingdom, where it is the second most improved brand, and in the UAE, where it is the third most improved. 

The YouGov BrandIndex also revealed the ten most improved brands of 2018.

In the UAE, Coca-Cola ranked number one with a rise of +7.5 points to its Buzz score, going from +6.5 in 2017’s rankings to +14.0 in 2018’s.

Beverage brands particularly resonated well with consumers in Saudi, with four included in the top 10 improvers list. On the other hand, fast food chains and food brands fared well with consumers in Egypt, while Netflix also generated positive Buzz in the country as well as in the UAE, becoming the second most improved brand of the past year in both countries.

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