Alcohol brand index – Q4 2019

Every quarter we survey British consumers on their brand awareness of, and preferences in, the alcohol industry. Our latest insights into this industry are detailed in this article. 

To compile this quarter’s alcohol brand index below, we looked at three things:

  • Percentage of unprompted brand recall within the alcohol category
  • How likely a person is to purchase each brand (purchase intent)
  • How likely a person is to recommend each brand (Net Promoter Score)

Key changes in brand attributes

With the festive season approaching, perceptions of alcohol brands can shift a bit. Some brands start to appear in holidaying households, ready to be gifted or shared around as part of festive tradition. Drinks that are best suited for a warm summer evening are pushed to the back of the shelf, as seasonal favourites take the limelight. Which brands will consumers be calling upon this season, and which will they be giving a miss? 

Each quarter we ask consumers to rank the top 10 alcohol brands they’ve named in eight category-specific attributes. Here are the main winners, losers and movers this quarter:

  • Guinness have divided public opinion this quarter, racking up three last-place and three first-place rankings across the eight brand attributes. UK consumers thought they were the least fashionable brand, the least innovative brand, and the worst value for money out of the top 10. However, they were rated the highest quality and most trustworthy brand, and the one with the most memorable branding – their ad saluting Japan’s all-female rugby squad is a great example of a purpose-driven campaign. 
  • Baileys has stormed into the leaderboard in Q4, knocking Gordon’s out of the top spot for taste with an impressive 91% weighted ranking. Gordon’s has also lost its position as the most trustworthy brand this quarter, relinquishing that title to Guinness. It’s not all doom and gloom for the gin brand, though – they claimed a new first-place ranking for ‘most innovative brand’. 
  • Last quarter, Carling managed two last-place rankings for innovation and memorable branding. In Q4, they’ve turned it around – they were rated the best priced and most convenient alcohol brand.
  • Strongbow is another new addition to the top 10, but they’ve stacked up a few last-place rankings along the way – the cider brand came in at the bottom for taste, convenience, and quality in Q4. 
alcohol brand index q4

Key takeaways

  • Smirnoff, the almighty alcohol brand, still reigns as king of the top 10 – it closes the year in first-place, making impressive gains across all key metrics, but it’s the soaring unprompted brand recall that really sets it apart from the other brands on the leaderboard. It’s far and away the best performer in Q4. 
  • Two other brands don’t move from Q3 to Q4 – Guinness and Foster’s. Sitting in joint 6th place with Baileys, Guinness has declined slightly across most of the key metrics, including Total Brand Equity and Purchase Intent, but their unprompted brand recall is exactly the same this quarter as it was last quarter. Foster’s have remained in eighth place since Q2 this year – their unprompted brand recall is higher than Guinness’, but their NPS means their total brand equity is lower overall.
  • Three brands have climbed up through the rankings in Q4. Jack Daniel’s has hopped from 4th to 2nd place, knocking Gordon’s out of their coveted spot. Stella Artois has moved up one place, from 5th to 4th, thanks to an increase in unprompted brand recall. The most impressive ascent, however, is Carling’s – they’ve rocketed from 10th to 5th place in Q4, despite a drop in unprompted brand recall. That’s all thanks to a huge increase in NPS and purchase intent this quarter.
  • Only two brands have seen a decrease in the rankings in Q4. Gordon’s have been knocked from 2nd place to 3rd by Jack Daniel’s – it’s the first time they’ve dropped from 2nd since Q2 this year. Budweiser have fallen quite a way, from 3rd to 9th place, and have seen drops across all of the key metrics, including purchase intent and NPS. 
  • There are two newcomers to the leaderboard this quarter, and unsurprisingly, Baileys is one of them. A firm festive favourite, Baileys have come in joint 6th place with Guinness thanks to their admirable purchase intent score. The other new addition is Strongbow, who have crept onto the board in tenth place. Carlsberg and Heineken have been knocked out of the top 10 – they ranked in 7th and 8th place respectively last quarter. 

The Full Report

The report includes:

  • The UK’s leading alcohol brands for awareness, purchase intent and Net Promoter Score
  • Overall brand strength and total brand equity index
  • Industry averages and market dynamics
  • Key takeaways for the UK alcohol industry

The report is based on a nationally representative survey of 1000 people in the UK (aged 18+), surveyed in January 2019. 

Brand index methodology

The Attest brand index is a platform agnostic measure of a brand’s total brand equity in the alcohol sector, as determined by real consumers.

What does that mean?

When we say ‘platform agnostic’, we mean the results are not influenced by any particular method of obtaining them, like looking exclusively at social media mentions or at brand search terms. This reduces bias and gives us a much more accurate view of a brand’s strength in their category.

Learn more about why we think this is the best methodology for Brand Intelligence.

Brand index data is gathered every quarter from a nationally representative survey to 1,000 UK consumers aged 18-65.


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.

See all articles by Attest