“MoneySavingExpert: a stronger brand than iTunes”

“MoneySavingExpert: a stronger brand than iTunes”

MoneySavingExpert: a stronger brand than iTunes

MoneySavingExpert: a stronger brand than iTunes

Here at MSE Towers, we’re a little gobsmacked after reading new research about ‘brand strength’. We don’t really think of the site as a brand and we don’t deliberately try and cultivate that image, but it seems we have become one without trying.

I was first alerted when someone emailed a Scotsman article based on a YouGov poll on UK-wide brand strength based on quality, value and customer satisfaction. The piece stated:

"In the online category, Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert website beat off competition from global names such as iTunes to take the top spot, while internet phone service Skype was rated higher in the telecoms category than providers such as BT and Orange."

Then there was the Buzz Index index (which I think is separate) which put us at number 8 after recent positive feedback on brands:

  1. Amazon
  2. M&S
  3. BBC
  4. Google
  5. John Lewis
  6. Apple
  7. Sainsbury’s
  8. Money Saving Expert
  9. Cathedral City
  10. Waitrose

The contrast between MSE and the other brands is rather interesting. We’ve less than 40 staff, the others are, I suspect, in the 1,000s or 10,000s. We don’t have a brand manager or consultants, we just focus on trying to save people some money.

I’m sure some people within the branding industry would be able to explain why the MSE brand works, dissecting it to the nth degree, but actually I think I’m probably better off not knowing.

It makes me fearful of change

It does put me in two minds about our recent masthead change. My cherished garish green has gone and been replaced by a much classier and more professional looking masthead. But will the fact it no longer feels so homespun and personal impact people’s perception?

Then again, as I wrote a couple of weeks ago when we first launched the new homepage, the fact is we are now at a point where people know what we stand for. I hope we can keep improving the navigation and look of the site, without people feeling we’ve changed MSE’s ethos (we certainly haven’t).