How British brands are perceived in the UK and USA

A study of 4000 people across the US and UK reveals how British brands and the 'Made in Britain' label affects brand perception.

When you think of British brands and products that are ‘Made in Britain’, what do you associate them with? Quality and heritage, perhaps? Or maybe high price tags and old fashioned style?

We were curious about the consumer brand perception of British labels and products, especially in the midst of Brexit, so we asked 2,000 British and 2,000 American people what they think.

If ‘quality’ is the first word that springs to mind when you think of products that have been made in the UK, then you are in the majority. On both sides of the pond, ‘quality’ was the most common positive word associated with British consumer brands and products.

‘Heritage’ came in at second place, while Americans were almost twice as likely as Brits to associate British products with stylishness.

One finding from the survey shone out above the rest: three in four people said that a ‘Made in Britain’ label would make them more likely to buy a product.

This is despite the fact that almost half of all respondents said they consider British-made products to be expensive, while just over a fifth see products with a ‘Made in Britain’ label as old-fashioned.

Thoroughly British brands

We asked survey participants to list their favourite British brands. Who came out on top? The results differed between the two countries.

Cadbury was the firm favourite with Brits, closely followed by Marks & Spencer. Breaking it down by demographic, we discovered that people over 60 preferred M&S to Cadbury, but younger generations favoured the confectionery company.

In the US, Burberry came out on top as the favourite British brand — in line with the fact that 41% of Americans view products made in the UK as stylish. Surprisingly, one in three Americans couldn’t name a single British brand, suggesting brand identity for British products isn’t as strong across the pond as you’d imagine.

The Brexit factor

We thought it would be interesting to see how people’s perception of products made in the UK have changed as a result of Brexit. While just over half of British people said that Brexit has had no impact on how they feel about British brands and products, 39% feel more positively.

This could suggest that Brexit has made people think about what it means to be British, and it also hints that Brexit could provide new opportunities for British brands.

While the US has not shown quite as much enthusiasm, the trend is still similar, with 60% of people feeling ambivalent and 28% feeling more positively towards the label of ‘Made in Britain’ post-Brexit.

Here are the other key findings.

Want to know how your brand is perceived by consumers anywhere in the world? Speak to our team, and we can help you to measure, manage and maximise your brand’s equity, get closer to consumers and win market share.


Content Team 

Our in-house marketing team is always scouring the market for the next big thing. This piece has been lovingly crafted by one of our team members. Attest's platform makes gathering consumer data as simple and actionable as possible.

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