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The United Kingdom’s flag carrier airline, British Airways, has retained its title as the country’s strongest consumer brand for the second year running.

The airline, which is Britain’s second-largest carrier, beat fierce competition from brands including Nike, Rolex and Cadbury to soar to the top of the survey, which was conducted by Consumer Superbrands. The annual survey identifies the UK’s strongest brands based on the opinions of marketing experts, business professionals and thousands of British consumers.

In terms of PR and marketing, 2014 was a busy year for British Airways. The company’s most notable stunt was its experimental flight from Heathrow to New York to test how passengers reacted to flying across time zones at night-time. On the flight, volunteers trialled high-tech ‘happiness blankets’ which are said to monitor brainwaves and change colour based on a passenger’s mood, enabling them to sleep better. Although the consensus was that the blankets didn’t make the volunteers happy, the stunt certainly ticked boxes in terms of PR, with coverage secured across the board with the likes of the Mail Online, CNN and TIME.

This year also saw the brand announce a pioneering partnership with sustainable fuels brand, Solena Fuel – another activity which promoted the brand’s environmental commitment to consumers across the country.

However, not everything has gone in British Airways’ favour this year, with its recent ‘spying scandal’ taking over headlines. The company is alleged to have paid around £1 million in compensation to prevent a court case, following an operation in which the phones and emails of its own employees were supposedly improperly accessed during a dispute with union, Unite. Nevertheless, many journalists have claimed that the company’s later launch of its new logo and 20 different routes deflected much of this bad publicity, keeping its trusted name intact.

It seems to me that the key to being top of the table is longevity, thanks to a meticulously planned PR and marketing strategy. Younger brands such as Google, Amazon and social media giant, Facebook, surprisingly made no inroads in the survey, with all three companies continuing to slide down the ranks due to a lack of consumer trust. This proves that some of the world’s largest and well-used brands were not necessarily the most liked by the British public.