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What are the common characteristics of the most loved retail brands?

Alice Kounougakis Director 12 April 2022

BrandVue’s Most Loved Retail Brands 2022

We recently launched BrandVue’s Most Loved Retail Brands 2022 report, providing insight into which retailers UK adults have the closest emotional connection with.

Drawing on findings from the report, we take a look at the key characteristics that the most loved retail brands have in common.

As UK shoppers have increasingly been feeling the effects of the rising cost of living, Tesco has positioned itself as a consumer champion, allowing it to maintain dominance in the grocery sector.

The Top 10 Most Loved Retail Brands of 2022

Upon initial glance, there is little which draws this top ten of most loved retail brands together. However, on further inspection points of commonality emerge. The hallmarks of brand affinity include a strong customer connection, a highly engaging and/or frictionless shopping experience (regardless of channel or touchpoint) as well as a great product, which either offers value for money, or is worth paying that bit extra for.

1. Amazon

2. Apple

3. M&S Simply Food

4. Tesco

5. Aldi

6. M&S

7. Boots


9. B&M

10. Asda

What do the top brands have in common?

Popularity and market leadership

The UK’s top 10 most loved retailers includes brands from the value end of the spectrum such as Aldi and B&M, as well as the more premium end – M&S and Apple – but what they all have in common is a very clear pricing position.

Tesco in particular has been extremely vocal in its pricing campaigns throughout 2021 and has enjoyed unprecedented success with its Clubcard Prices and Aldi Price Match initiatives, enabling the brand to defend itself against the ongoing threat of discounter brands and achieve an increase in both its Brand Love score and rank position in Savanta’s 2022 report.

As UK shoppers have increasingly been feeling the effects of the rising cost of living, Tesco has positioned itself as a consumer champion, allowing it to maintain dominance in the grocery sector.

Having a clear identity when it comes to pricing, whether that be as a value or more premium brand, leaves consumers in no doubt of the role each brand can play in their lives and can help facilitate the shortlisting process for different shopping missions.

Ubiquitous physical availability

It perhaps comes as no surprise that the top 10 most loved UK retail brands heavily feature large and established retailers. One thing many of them have in common is ubiquitous physical availability, meaning not just bricks-and-mortar stores, but also a strong online presence.

The role that a user-friendly transactional website or app plays is something that should never be overlooked. They offer shoppers round-the-clock access to brands and products alike and can go beyond the transactional to offer additional content to help strengthen their brand identity.

Brands should consider robust consumer website testing to help optimise the online shopping journey. A poor website experience can often lead to frustration and lost sales. What the most loved brands have in common is a high-quality transactional website, which is seamless, enjoyable, and often inspirational, increasing the likelihood of customer loyalty and advocacy.

Established, trusted, household names

One characteristic that is harder to quantify or replicate is achieving household name status amongst UK consumers.

Several of the most loved retail brands have been fixtures on UK high streets for decades, meaning today’s shoppers have developed close-knit relationships with them throughout their lives.

Those that have truly stood the test of time have been able to generate strong levels of brand trust through consistency and reliability and have also learnt to adapt to the everchanging retail landscape.

Household name status is difficult to fast-track, but there are still lessons that smaller and less established brands can learn, such as offering consistency and reliability, providing great service, and being brave enough to adapt their brand as the world changes.

BrandVue’s Most Loved Retail Brands 2022

As well as revealing the 100 most loved retail brands, the report offers expert analysis on where the industry is heading and what brands can do to become more loved by consumers.

The report also touches upon the consumer shift towards shopping local and supporting smaller, independent retailers and communities, the emergence of home and lifestyle brands, the importance of fostering meaningful brand relationships across generations, and more.

Download the report here for the full Top 100 league table as well as more retail trends and insights.