As I search daily for news of interest to travelers, I frequently get press releases and news links for Top Ten Lists, articles about The Best This or That in the World, or other forms of ranking for airlines, hotels, cities, whatever.
They seldom make it into this column, because they're seldom actually news, or interesting or even meaningful. And besides, personally, I hate them. I'd rather see someone list a few restaurants he or she has enjoyed and why than have one proclaimed The Best Restaurant in Paris.
Some rankings are useful or interesting to know, but they are generally more objective—airlines with best or worst reliability; areas that have growing or declining tourism numbers. That sort.
But the worst, for me, are what I call the Lobby Awards, a name that came from a sense that every hotel lobby in Las Vegas had, at some point, received or given itself an award for Best Lobby or Most Friendly Lobby or Most Loved Lobby, etc. These awards usually come from companies or organizations we hardly think of, and often honor things we'd never think of to honor.
We'll close with the press release that started me on this track, one that proclaims Aeroflot, the Russian airline, to have once again been named "the world's strongest airline brand." And who says so? "Brand Finance, the leading independent brand consultancy." Whatever that calls itself when it's home.
Read on...here's the press release:
The Russian flag carrier held onto its position at the top of this global ranking for the second year, and was also named as one of Russia's top brands in any sector.
Brand Finance measures the influence of aviation brands by a number of factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Aeroflot received the highest AAA rating. Aeroflot's brand strength score put it ahead of a number of other leading global carriers including American Airlines, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Air China and Singapore Airlines, which has been named best in the world in numerous ratings over the years.
Aeroflot's brand value also grew, increasing by 13% year-on-year to USD 1.429 billion.
"Aeroflot has held on to its position as the most familiar aviation brand in the world for the second year in a row," Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Savliev said. "Retaining our supremacy in the prestigious Brand Finance rating is a great honour and a singular achievement. It is also confirmation of an important fact - the strengthening of our global position is no mere chance, but rather the result of a true strategy and consistent ongoing execution. The development and strengthening of Aeroflot's brand involves a number of different dimensions, and we will continue to develop it both on the global and Russian aviation markets."
"Aeroflot has invested heavily in its young fleet, delivering a superior product and customer experience among increasing expectations," said David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance. "This is complemented by marketing activities, particularly in Asia." Aeroflot's partnership with Manchester United - one of the world's most popular and successful football clubs - is also paying strong dividends to its brand reputation, David Haigh said.