Innocent tops the 2012 Social Brands 100 list, Starbucks, Ford and charities score highly

A year is a long time in social media. Last year we had the first Social Brands 100 list and it was topped by Dell. Today the second Social Brands 100 is launched and it is all change at the top.

This year smoothie maker Innocent has topped the Social Brands 100 list beating Starbucks to the number one slot in the ranking of consumer brands and their use of social media.

Ford was the top automotive brand, Wonga the financial services brand and Asos the leading retail brand.

The top ten includes a wide cross section of brands from different sectors with mobile brand Giffgaff in third followed by three charities: Cancer Research, the British Red Cross and ARKive.

Cadbury and online fashion brand ASOS take joint seventh slot and the top ten is rounded out by The Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Met Office.

The Social Brands 100, created by social agency Headstream, was whittled down from a crowdsourced list of more than 300 nominated brands. These were then scored by social media monitoring firm Brandwatch and a panel of industry judges including Twitter’s UK head of sales Bruce Daisley.

Innocent’s success in topping the Social Brands 100 reflects its continued success with social media and the strong showing of FMCG brands overall. It has always had a very light touch, a sense of humour, that comes through in the packaging and design of its products as well as its tone of voice in the social sphere. It manages to achieve that whilst still being a successful business. It does this also whilst being majority owned by a multinational in the form of Coca Cola. All of that adds up to an impressive success story.

Last year Innocent came in seventh place while Starbucks was third place. While those brands have both risen or kept their place in the top ten, 2011 winner Dell has crashed right down through the ranking to 59.

Dell was well known as being an early social media leader. In 2009, an age ago in social media years, it was widely reported how it had made $6.5m out of Twitter and while it is a brand that is still talked about others have since caught up and passed it in terms of breadth of social media activity and achievement.

Joe McEwan, communities manager, at Innocent, said: “We’ve always wanted to build actual relationships with our drinkers. It started with talking to people on our packaging, inviting them to call the bananaphone, meeting them at events we put on, and so on. It naturally extended into digital and then social media as those channels evolved.”

The full report has come up with lots of interesting findings:

  • 1. A 4% drop in the use of foursquare since 2011, indicating that use of geo-location platforms have still not taken off. Seems to be that Foursquare is dead in the UK.
  • 2. Charities and not-for-profit organisations are starting to make the most of social media, representing over 25% of the top twenty brands this year.
  • 3. In the 10 months since it launched, 49% of brands have joined Google+ with the same number of brands now present on Pinterest.
  • 4. YouTube appears to be a missed opportunity for many sectors, with the exception of technology brands.

Interestingly while many brands do well on Facebook the report says that brands could do more when it comes to Twitter.

The topped ranked brand by is use of Twitter was National rail enquiries followed by Tetley tea. Media brands nominated also did well with the BBC and MTV making the top ten for use of Twitter.

The top ten brands by industry sector

  1. 1. Ford – automotive
  2. 2. Cancer Research UK – charity
  3. 3. The Ellen DeGreneres Show – media
  4. 4. Lush – fashion & beauty
  5. 5. Wonga –financial services
  6. 6. Innocent – fmcg
  7. Gibson – manufactured goodsw
  8. 8. Asos – retail
  9. 9. Met Office – services
  10. 10. HTC – technology
  11. 11. Giffgaff – telecoms
  12. 12. Starbucks – travel and leisure

The full report can be downloaded from

On the Methodology:

For more information on the Social Brands 100 methodology, please visit: