Superbrands, represented on the local market by the strategic communication agency BDR Associates, announces the final results of the research carried out within the 2021 edition of the programme for Romania.
The research findings reflect the significantly changed local market trends in the context of the pandemic, the different consumer behaviour, the new category leaders and the first 20 brands in the ranking, in 2021. The results of the Superbrands Romania program, 2021 edition, come after the complex stage of judging provided by 30 professionals from representative industries, who decided on the short list of brands to enter the second stage of evaluation, namely market research among consumers, conducted in partnership with Ipsos Romania.
Between March 17 – 26, 2021, 1,500 Romanian consumers evaluated the 1,039 qualified brands following the vote of the specialists from the Honorary Council of the Superbrands Romania Program, referring to the criteria underlying the designation of a brand as eligible for the status of Superbrand, according to the methodology applied globally by the international organization Superbrands: quality, trust and differentiation in the market. The interviews organized by Ipsos took place online, and involved consumers in urban areas, aged between 18 and 54.
The main conclusions of the evaluation stages, judging and market research:
Consumer preferences experienced major changes, in the context of the pandemic that influenced lifestyle and professional activity, compared to the 2019 edition of the Superbrands program.
51% of the brands voted eligible for Superbrand status in Romania come from a wide variety of industries, who firmly dominated people’s lives in the pandemic year, while the Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) accounts for 49% of the designated brands eligible for Superbrand status in 2021, in the local market.
The results of the consumer vote highlight a ranking of the first 20 brands qualified for Superbrand status, which meet the best scores according to the methodology and evaluation criteria of Superbrands, while confirming the changing consumer preferences and the spectacular diversification of industries that dominate the interest of the general public today.
Netflix ranks first for the first time, moving up by 4 places compared to 2019. As in the previous edition, Dedeman maintains its constant position in the ranking, followed by the Facebook brand, which going up by 34 places, compared to the 2019 edition. The first 20 brands also include Visa, Uber, Dr. Oetker, Banca Transilvania, compari.ro, eMAG, Nike, Mastercard, Borsec, Pampers, IKEA, Lidl, Glovo, YouTube, Fan Courier, Adidas, Sony PlayStation – presences that express the new lifestyle adopted by the majority during the period of restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
The result of this edition marks a new stage for brand culture, influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, as follows.
A diversification of the industries represented by the brands from the ranking 20
Compared to the research carried out in 2019, the current edition firmly positions new industries such as Audio-video streaming services; DIY / DIY stores; Social networks; Financial services; Mobility services; Spices and food additives; Banks, Comparators of prices; Retail – Electronics and home appliances; Retail – Sports; Furniture and decorations; Supermarkets / hypermarkets / Cash & Carry / discount stores; Food delivery services; Courier services or Gaming and entertainment, their rise being highlighted in the ranking 20. Thus, in addition to traditionally present brands such as Dedeman, Visa, Netflix, eMAG, Mastercard, Borsec, Pampers, IKEA or Fan Courier, new brands are now highly positioned in the preferences of consumers, such as YouTube and Sony PlayStation. This is a result of the atypical period that characterized last year. Some relevant examples such as Netflix, which is at the top of this year’s ranking, or Facebook, which has a remarkable jump of 34 places compared to the previous edition, reflect the growing preoccupations of consumers to spend their free time in front of screens, in a period marked by limited circulation and a considerable reduction in entertainment options.
A special attention offered to local products and services
According to the research results, one third (33%) of the brands qualified for Superbrand status in 2021 have their origin in Romania. This stable position, at the top of the hierarchy, occupied by locally developed brands, is encouraging and confirmed by the presence of 4 local brands in the ranking of 20, in the 2019 edition, respectively 5 brands with Romanian origins, in the 2021 edition – Fan Courier, Dedeman, eMAG, Banca Transilvania, Borsec. This performance demonstrates both the interest and appreciation of consumers for local products and services, as well as the high level of development of Romanian entrepreneurship.
The expansion of eCommerce in the daily life of Romanians
Many consumers have resorted to eCommerce for the first time in the context of the pandemic. The ecosystem of online commerce, an industry that analysts estimate has seen double-digit growth last year, continues to expand. This conglomeration of industries brings together various skills and services, with Superbrands ranking including: Visa and Mastercard, with a constant presence in consumer preferences, Banca Transilvania, with a spectacular increase of 87 positions, compari.ro, increasing by 31 positions, eMAG, Glovo, entered for the first time in the ranking, Fan Courier, the leader of the previous edition.
The pandemic and the growth of brands used at home, for recreation and mobility
The pandemic year also led to an increase in interest in home cooking, a trend highlighted by the validation of Dr. Oetker as a brand with Superbrand eligible status in the local market, in a leading position in consumer votes in 2021. At the same time, the increase of the time spent in the house led to the evolution of the brands related to the arrangement of the house and their placement on preferential places in the consumers’ perception: Dedeman, IKEA.
Against the background of increasing the time spent at home, of concentrating the ways of spending free time, but also as a possible consequence of the transition to working from home, many Romanians changed their office outfit with sportswear or lighter clothes. This year, among the 20 brands that lead in consumer preferences, Nike and Adidas stand out, which is a premiere in terms of performance in the Retail-Sport category.
Furthermore, concerns about the risk of illness in public transport, lead to a significant increase of Mobility services: Uber has risen enormously in the preferences expressed, advancing 280 positions compared to the 2019 edition.
FMCG features 4 brands in Superbrands Romania ranking
Among the 20 brands that lead in the expressed preferences we find, together with Dr. Oetker, two other brands that have occupied the leading position in the rankings of the past years: Borsec and Pampers, which is on the rise in the current edition. They are joined by Lidl, which makes a remarkable leap, a major increase over previous editions.
50% of the 20 brands are based on technology
From the ranking of the 20 brands eligible for Superbrand status, a percentage of 50% are, in fact, brands from Technology, these being part of the categories: Streaming audio/video; Social networks; Financial services; Mobility; Price comparison websites; Retail – Electronics and home appliances; Food delivery services and Gaming and entertainment.
Sustainable brands, on the consumers’ radar
This year’s edition investigated for the first time the perception of Romanian consumers regarding sustainable brands – those that show interest in protecting the environment and the responsible use of resources, but also in the quality of life of the consumer. From this perspective, Kaufland, Dorna, Lidl, Carrefour and H&M stand out spontaneously.
The pandemic impacted industries represented in Superbrands research differently
The category Restaurants, fast-food chains and coffee shops is present in this edition exclusively through international brands, which have been able to support the continuity of their business through brand strength, consistent communication, but also by adopting or developing home delivery solutions. Among the categories where we find significant decreases in the ranking are Sports Clubs and SPA, or Personal Care.
About the survey: The list of brands eligible for Superbrand status was obtained based on the Superbrands international methodology including two important phases. In the first stage, the Superbrands Council, consisting of 30 professionals from different industries, such as management, marketing, advertising, communication, branding and media, consulting, provided a qualitative selection of the list of brands, evaluating 1,857 brands in 65 categories. The criteria considered in the selection process were reputation, trust, quality and market distinction. Following this selection, 1,039 qualified brands were included in the market research, conducted by Superbrands Romania with the support of Ipsos, on a representative sample of 1,500 Romanian consumers at urban level. The full list of brands with Superbrands status in Romania for the current programme will be published in the Superbrands Romania book, 2021 edition.