We thought we’d take the temperature of the nation by checking what its favourite brands are. Our rigorous, analytical methods are both quantative and qualitative. Well, maybe not. What they are is interesting though, we typed one letter into Google and saw what was the first word it offered us in its predictive text.
So here are the top 26 brands in Glasgow currently.

A – Argos – well it was Christmas recently and they are one of the country’s biggest retailers.
B – BBC – dear old Auntie, as popular and relevant as ever.
C – Currys – our first surprise, the retail park electronics shed still rules the high Cs it seems.
D – Debenhams – yes well, see A.
E – Ebay – Our first online only brand….
F – Facebook – …you wait all day for an online only brand and 2 come along at once.
G – Google – ahem, do people really Google the word Google? C’mon (next was Gum Tree).
H – Hotmail – Microsoft’s popular email remains hot, hot, hot.
I – Ikea – Nordic flat-pack remains as popular as ever.
J – John Lewis – see D and A (and some very good advertising too).
K – Kindle – Amazon didn’t make it on A, but does OK in the end.
L – Lottery – got to pay those Christmas credit card bills somehow.
M – Marks and Spencer – see J, D and A.
N – Next – really, I didn’t know they were still going.
O – Orange – our first telecoms, or it might be January fruit lovers, or both.
P – Play – DVDs, games, stuff, online only too.
Q – Quiz – not Trivial Pursuit but girl’s clothes it seems, more retail.
R – RBS – our first and only ‘local’ brand. Hated and bailed out but searched for a lot.
S – Sky – TV, broadband and satellite dishes.
T – Tesco – Britain’s biggest supermarket continues world domination attempt.
U – UCAS – at last something from left field! The student application people.
V – Vodafone – mobile phones remain big business.
W – Wikipedia – well where would all be without it?
X – X Factor – it’s a narrow vertical and Xylophones are out of season.
Y – You Tube – well you can’t see enough dogs falling over at this time of year.
Z – Zara – Those clothes shops are popular it seems.

So, other than Glaswegians are shopaholics what does this tell us. The dearth of local brands is disappointing but perhaps no big surprise, and the time of year must play a factor too, the busiest retail period of the year has just been and that must influence the searches being made. We’ll do this again in the summer and see what, if any, changes there are.
Any surprising omissions? Maybe, no Twitter, no local football teams, no independence vote and no local media might surprise some and a lack of ‘celebrity’ is surprising and refreshing. Ultimately this is only a snippet of what Google thinks you are going to type, it is unlikely to actually influence what you do eventually type, but we must assume it’s a good guide to what we as a nation are Googling on a regular basis.

John