Saudi Arabia’s most used instant messaging service, Whatsapp, and the video-sharing site with the highest mobile usage in the Kingdom, YouTube, enter the YouGov BrandIndex BestBrand Rankings for the first time in 2015.
Whatsapp is the highest new entry debuting straight into second place (score: 38.3) whilst YouTube arrives at number eight (score: 31.3) in the top 10 most positively perceived brands amongst Saudi residents. The entrance of the two brands is testament to sky-rocketing mobile penetration rates in the Kingdom and evermore mainstream digital consumption in the middle east region as digital-based brands now take up six of the top 10 rankings overall.
YouGov BrandIndex tracks over 400 brands in Saudi Arabia and is the only daily measure of brand perception among the public.
Rankings are created using BrandIndex’s Buzz score which is calculated by asking 150 respondents daily if they have ‘heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the last two weeks through advertising, news or word-of-mouth’.
Leading the way with the most positive sentiment amongst Saudi residents is Samsung (score: 40.7), maintaining its status at the top of the rankings in the Kingdom for four consecutive years. Apple manages to hold onto third place (score: 36.0), while Whatsapp squeezes out Google from second to seventh place (score: 33.3) since this time last year. Apple iPhone, on the other hand is making a bigger impression in the minds of respondents, climbing five places from tenth to fifth (score: 34.0).
Despite the increasing dominance of digital-based brands, traditional fast food favorite Al Baik (score: 34.3) and dairy household name Almarai (score: 33.5) are still holding their own, both climbing from fifth to fourth place, and eighth to sixth place respectively.
Visa is a non-mover sitting in seventh equal (score: 33.3), while Galaxy hasn’t managed to maintain pace, sinking five places from fourth to ninth (score: 29.8) since this time last year. It’s a boost for Toyota though, who rounds up the rankings debuting in tenth position (29.6).
“The arrival of Whatsapp and YouTube, to the rankings is reflective of the increasing prominence of mobile usage in the Kingdom as the younger generation challenge marketers to integrate the platform within their marketing mix.” says Kailash Nagdev, YouGov MENA Managing Director. “Overall it will be interesting to see how brands respond as mobile marketing continues to take hold in the Kingdom.”