Brand of the Year

McDonald’s, 2008

Voting has now closed you’ll have the chance to decide the ultimate iconic brand via a live vote at our spectacular Diamond Anniversary Dinner in London, 27 November.

It will be seen as the year of financial meltdown, the year consumers realised that not all banks can be trusted and that safety and caution should dominate investment decisions rather than risky high interest rates. It will be seen as the year city fat cats sealed their bad reputation and the government spent a lot of money rescuing them and the rest of us from some kind of meltdown, whatever that might look like.

2008 was the year the British public fell back in love with fast food chain McDonald’s. After a series of attacks against its menu, its restaurants and everything it stood for, McDonald’s concerted efforts to listen to its consumers and adapt to changing times were reaping rewards.

An emphasis on good quality ingredients for its popular burgers, healthier options for children, a better publicised sustainability policy, more transparency and the introduction of premium coffee were just some of the steps taken. Then there was the drastic redesign of some of the restaurants – armchairs, designer lighting, all making McDonald’s a more welcoming environment. Jill McDonald, chief marketing officer, McDonald’s was awarded The Marketer of the Year in 2008 by The Marketing Society for her success in turning around the brand.

But we were not impressed with our banks, as more information behind the cause of the credit crunch was revealed, consumer trust plummeted. One of the safest places for nest eggs, NS&I (formerly National Savings) had to stop marketing at the beginning of the year, the demand for its savings products was so high.

One in four of us said we trusted the brand compared to just 16% who trusted high street banks, according to Millward Brown. Meanwhile, the NHS, one of Britain’s most cherished and debated institutions, celebrated its 60th birthday.

2008 snapshot
Brand Value – Methodology
Films: Sex and the City, Mamma Mia!
Music: Newcomer Duffy sings Mercy
Events: Financial meltdown