Saudia replaces Apple as top brand among KSA millennials

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The national airline of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudia has knocked Apple off the top spot as the brand Saudi millennials are most likely to talk about positively with their friends and family, according to a new survey.

Tech giant Apple fell to No. 3 in the top 10 brands this year, while social networking site Facebook failed to even rank at all, according to research compiled by YouGov.

Consumer electronics brand Samsung also saw its popularity decrease, dropping to eighth place this year.

Brands that saw an improvement in their reputation included the Saudi fast-food chain Al Baik which came in at No. 6, while the real estate group Bin Laden and Saudi beverage brand Almarai made their debut in the top 10, ranking at spot nine and 10 respectively.

Other drink brands including Aquafina, Fanta, Sprite and Diet Pepsi also saw improvements in their brand perception, the research found.

The rankings are based on responses collected online from 18 to 34-year-olds over the last year to discover the brands they have discussed positively either in person or online.

“The top 10 list has a mix of travel and airline brands, consumer brands, financial services and real estate brands. These brands have managed to harness the power of word of mouth and have been successful in shaping a positive brand image,” said Scott Booth, head of YouGov BrandIndex in the Middle East and North Africa.

Millennials and non-millennials alike may have been won over by Saudia’s announcement earlier this month to introduce free-of-charge access to social messaging apps such as Facebook messenger, WhatsApp and iMessage for onboard guests.

It is said to be the first airline in Europe, Middle East Africa and Asia to introduce complementary social media messaging on flights, according to a statement issued on Sept. 16.

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