Brand of the Year

M&S, 2006

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2006 was the year the new management team at M&S could breathe a sigh of relief. Following an unblinkered focus on getting the right products at the right prices in the right places and a confident coherent marketing campaign, M&S had become relevant and innovative again.

Two years previously, Philip Green had bid for M&S at 400p a share, by the end of 2006, the M&S share price was approaching 600p. The retailer’s 2006 Christmas ad campaign was a showdown starring Dame Shirley Bassey alongside the new M&S starry supermodels – Twiggy and Erin O’Connor and the seasonal sales poured in.

It may not have been M&S food, but it was a good year for Green & Blacks chocolate too. Green & Blacks won The Marketing Society’s Grand Prix Award in 2006 in recognition of its transformation from a worthy organic product into a luxury, premium chocolate. Cadbury’s had noticed the change too and acquired the brand in 2005 for £25m.

In 2006, a new “squeezy” jar of Marmite was released. The first plastic jars replaced the Marmite logo with the words, “Squeeze me.” Meanwhile, Google, never one to miss a trick, had decided that online future lay with video, so it acquired YouTube for $1.65bn.

2006 snapshot
Brand Value – $3,640
Brand Value – Methodology
Books: Kiran Desai writes The Inheritance of Loss
Events: Whale swims down River Thames; Indonesian earthquake; Saddam executed
Films: Casino Royale
Music: Arctic Monkeys sing “I bet you look good on the dance floor”