By Gavin Gibbon
Latest 2019 YouGov BrandIndex Buzz Rankings list food giant Almarai top in Saudi and WhatsApp in Egypt
Emirates airline created the most positive buzz among UAE residents, according to the 2019 YouGov BrandIndex Buzz Rankings in the Middle East.
The index measures the public’s perception of brands on a daily basis throughout the year across a range of metrics - buzz scores measure whether people have heard anything positive or negative about a brand during the previous two weeks.
The MENA results saw Emirates come out on top in the UAE, Saudi food conglomerate Almari in KSA, and global messaging service WhatsApp take the number one spot in Egypt.
In 2019 Emirates carried close to 58 million passengers on around 186,000 flights.
Travelling more than 885m kilometres around the globe to 159 destinations, new additions to the network included Bangkok (via Phnom Penh), the Portuguese city of Porto and a new service to Mexico City via Barcelona.
In terms of the index, it was a less than favourable year for electronics giants. While Samsung climbed up to the second position from sixth in the 2018 rankings, this year it has dropped down to third.
On the other hand, its competitor Apple’s score has been declining year-on-year and after falling from fourth to sixth in 2018, it has further fallen down two positions, to eighth in the 2019 rankings.
Even in Saudi Arabia, Samsung and Apple had a tough year. While Samsung fell down two places to seventh this year, Apple slipped down one spot to eighth.
Similarly, Apple’s smartphone brand, iPhone noted declines in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In Egypt, it moved down from sixth to eighth but in KSA it fell down four places to tenth in the 2019 rankings.
It was, however, a positive year for YouTube in the region, with the launch of YouTube Premium and Music in many Middle-Eastern countries. In Egypt, YouTube is the third best brand in terms of positive buzz, while in the UAE and Saudi, it is placed in sixth in the top ten list of both the countries.
Netflix was the “most improved” brand of the past year, with a rise of +12.1 and +6.0 points, respectively, to its buzz score. Mada soared to the top of the improvers list in Saudi Arabia, and has witnessed a rise of +6.9 points to its score.
E-commerce brand Noon.com also showed great improvement in the region and has secured a spot in the improvers list in all the three countries. In the UAE and Saudi, it is the second best improver, and in Egypt it is fourth in the list of improvers.
The 1,437 brands in the YouGov BrandIndex were ranked using the Buzz score which asks respondents: “If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”