Recognising excellence

Brand of the year
Brand of the year

Competition will be fierce for this year's Marketing Society Brand of the Year award, writes Ed Kemp.

Last year Comparethemarket.com was voted Brand of the Year at the 50th Annual Marketing Society Dinner. Will the ubiquitous meerkat Alexandr Orlov be able to repeat this triumph for the price-comparison site - or will another brand take centre stage in 2010?

The Marketing Society LinkedIn Group has already been discussing contenders, and some early front-runners have begun to emerge. Perhaps you agree with Martin Watts, who commends Jagermeister for its 'innovative rock-music event experiential marketing that has made this traditional German liqueur the fastest growing brand in the alcohol sector'.

Or you might side with Kevin McLean, who gives his vote to Innocent Drinks, which 'bounced back from a poor '08/'09, when they didn't keep the main thing, selling a large shareholding to Coca-Cola for investment in expansion, without too many people getting upset or losing control or core values'.

Football fever

The 2010 FIFA World Cup dominated the marketing focus and spend for many leading global brands this year and Jeremy Davies, new business manager at brand and communications agency Appetite, singles out Nike for special praise for its 'Write the future' campaign starring footballers such as Wayne Rooney and Franck Ribery. '2010 was all about the World Cup, and from that perspective you have to say "Sneakers off" to Nike for effectively ambushing the event, and rendering one of the hottest sponsorship properties around a damp squib', he says.

Other suggestions so far include, Lego for its use of innovation, building on more than 50 years of brand heritage, and Pixar - its latest film, Toy Story 3, has been critically acclaimed as not only the best animated film of the year but perhaps also the best film in any category.

Waitrose took a risk when it decided to launch its value Essentials range, but a sales increase of more than 17% suggests it has paid off handsomely.

Whether you love it or hate it, Facebook continues to dominate our virtual and real lives, while other brands such as Old Spice, Microsoft, Apple, Mumsnet and the BBC's 6 Music have also been the subject of much discussion.

The question is, who would you vote for and why? Whether it is a brand that has reinvented itself or revamped its products, or perhaps a new brand that has taken its sector by storm, there is still time to speak up.

Nominations for Brand of the Year 2010, which is sponsored by ITV, will be collected by the Marketing Society over the next few weeks before a shortlist of 20 brands is drawn up. The five finalists will be announced at the Annual Marketing Society Dinner on 18 November, and the audience will select the overall winner by a text vote held on the night.

- There are two ways to make nominations. Email amy@marketingsociety.co.uk or go to the website. Submissions should be no more than 200 words and must be submitted by 8 October.

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