Microsoft is UK's top consumer brand

Microsoft has regained its spot as the strongest "superbrand" in the UK, knocking last year's number one Google into third place. The ranking comes from a list of Britain's top 500 brands and is compiled from a survey of experts and ordinary consumers.

The list is published by Superbrands UK and is based on research and polling by the Centre for Brand Analysis. Rankings are determined from a shortlist compiled from around 1,400 brands by "the independent and voluntary Expert Council" and then voted on by a "nationally representative sample of more than 2,100 British consumers aged 18 and above." The judging is based upon the quality of the brand and its products or services, the reliability of the brand to deliver and maintain standards, and the distinction of the brand from its competitors.

After the results are compiled, the top 500 companies make up the list of superbrands, with a superbrand being defined as: "A Superbrand has established the finest reputation in its field. It offers customers significant emotional and/or tangible advantages over its competitors, which (consciously or sub-consciously) customers want and recognise." According to the BBC this is the 12th year that the annual survey has been conducted and this year shows any major effects of the current economic downturn on consumers' perceptions.

Other notable technology related entries in the list include Apple at number 9, Nintendo at 20, Sony at 22 and the PlayStation brand at 42. Nokia, Sky, IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic, Intel and BT were also in the top 100. You can view the entire 500 for yourself in this PDF file.

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