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Whatsapp, Apple, still among UAE/Saudi women’s favourite brands

YouGov's latest BrandIndex survey reveals the brands with the best impression among Emirati and Saudi women.

Technology brands seem to have had a rather difficult year in the UAE In Saudi, food & beverage brands have seen improvement Emirates topped in the UAE, and Apple did in Saudi Arabia

YouGov has released data from its latest BrandIndex survey, which interviewed women aged 18+ in the UAE and Saudi Arabia over the course of a year to deduce which brands receive the most positive reception.

According to YouGov, the rankings were compiled using the Impression score from YouGov’s daily brand tracker, BrandIndex, by asking respondents, “Which of the following brands do you generally have a positive/negative feeling about?” over the past 12 months.

Top 10 Brands in the UAE and Saudi 

While local brands appeared to differentiate the lists, some internationally popular brands like YouTube, Apple and Whatsapp have proved universal sweethearts of women in the 2 countries. Given the cafe and shopping-mall intensive cultures the GCC is known for, this should come as no surprise, where social media and interaction are so crucial to daily life.

Still, YouGov said that technology brands seem to have had a rather difficult year in the UAE, as “both WhatsApp and YouTube saw a decline in their ranks and have slipped down two spots from last year to fourth and seventh, respectively in 2019.”

In Saudi, Apple beat Almarai to become the top brand in the 2019 Women’s Choice Brand Rankings.

“Amidst the launch of the new iPhones and Apple watch last year, the brand generated a lot of noise and has strengthened its appeal among women. Apple’s smartphone brand, iPhone, has likewise seen great improvement and places in second.”

In the UAE, Emirates topped the UAE women’s rankings for the third time in a row, and has received the highest positive Impression score of +70.0 among women in the UAE.

Supermarket chain Carrefour moved up one place in the list to third, replacing Apple which has dropped one place to fourth.

Most Improved in the UAE and Saudi

As for the brands that showed the most improvement, Coca-Cola and Huawei showed similar improvement in both countries. Huawei has been steadily picking up steam in the GCC in recent years, and with flagships that continue to improve year after year, rivalling the iPhone and the Galaxy S series, women seem to have taken notice.

In the UAE, Netflix has carved up an enviable brand image for itself among women, becoming the second most improved brand with a score of 23.4 this year (up +9.9 from 13.5 last year). This is likely due to the boost in original content production from Netflix, as well as the UAE embracing video streaming culture.

The Warner Bros. World brand enjoyed a notable rise in positive perception after it newly opened one of its theme parks in the country.

As for Saudi, “food and beverage brands seem to be resonating well with women in [in the Kingdom],” YouGov said. “Some of the top brands such as Maestro Pizza (+8.7), Coca-Cola (+8.2), Pepsi (+7.4), Kinder (+7.0) and Tasali (+5.9) are part of the top 10 improvers.”

They continued: “Chinese tech giant Huawei is also becoming popular amongst women and has shown a marked improvement in its score (+7.9), thereby becoming the fourth best improver of 2019.”