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Welcome to the first IRUK Top500 Dimension Report of 2019, on Brand Engagement. Here we focus on the ways in which Top500 retailers selling in the UK market build their brand and engage with their customers, both online and across different channels.

For in a shopping environment that’s highly competitive both online and in-store, building a distinctive brand is as important to retailers that sell consumer brands as it is to the brands themselves.

It is about retailers developing a brand look, feel and voice that shoppers can get to know. When shoppers recognise a brand they are more likely to remember it when they next make a relevant purchase, and when they get to know a brand and see it as reliable, they are more likely to trust it – and to develop an ongoing relationship with it. This is particularly important at a time when many retailers sell the same products and consumer brands: it is key to be the name sticking in consumers’ minds when they consider their next purchases.

The good news is that today there is a wide range of tools available for retailers to use in building their brand’s voice and image – and in this Dimension Report we look at how retailers are building followings by sharing images and videos, and by striking up conversations on channels from YouTube to Instagram, Facebook to Twitter. We look at how they use email to continue that conversation, and reviews and ratings to bring in other opinions. We also explore the RetailX original research that underpins this Dimension Report.

We believe that the overall result is a useful tool for retailers to understand how leading traders build their brands, and to understand how their own businesses measure up against the benchmark set here by members of the IRUK Top500.

As always, we are interested to hear from our readers, whether retailers, industry experts or suppliers, about useful directions in which we might take our research in coming years. Is there a must-use tool or technique that we should have covered here? Do get in touch and join the conversation.

Ian Jindal,

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