Each year, such is our love and respect for ‘tough brands’, the entire Kiverco team vote for their favourites. We call this Kiverco’s ‘Tough Love’ project. Brands that do best are the do-it-once, do-it-right brands. Brands that cut neither cost nor corners. The authentic brands. And the brands that appear most and highest in the Kiverco Tough Love project commit to making products that perform better and last longer not as a marketing ploy – but because it’s in their blood. They don’t know any other way.
24. Swiss Army. Knives.
Just sneaking into our top 24 brands for Kiverco's 2022's Tough Love League - its Swiss Army Knives. Over 130 years old in 2022, these super-tough customer-focussed classics are passed down from generation to generation. And they're so loved that on the rare occasion they do go wrong, it just doesn't feel right to throw them away! That's why so many Swiss Army Knife owners and lovers invest in getting them repaired and even refurbished. That's genuine Tough Love!
23. Le Creuset. Kitchenware.
An interesting inclusion. It's brilliant that so many Kiverco team members recognise this colourful, contemporary-yet-classic, design-led and joyous (their word not ours!) cookware brand as tough! It's Le Creuset's cast iron classics that have the greatest toughness credentials according to our team. And that's not surprising. It really does seem that we're thinking tough, and talking tough, even when we're making dinner!
22. Snap-on. Tools.
Another brand on the list that a number of Kiverco people actually use. This is a brand with an air of 'professional for the non-professional' about it. And not only do our Kiverco team like and use Snap-on, they keep going back, too. Those that use Snap-on seem to be regular users, too. Tough, well made - and they deliver.
21. G-Shock. Watches.
Another unsurprising inclusion. Pretty good brand awareness, and exceptional brand strength. This means that if you are one of the few that know G-Shock, you also know what they stand for (much better than lots of people knowing about a brand, but having no idea what they stand for!) G-Shock, just like Kiverco, stands for one thing. The same thing, actually. Toughness! Well done G-Shock. This year's number 21.
20. Tommy Hilfiger. Clothing.
This premium brand came as a surprise to us. A handful of votes pushed the American apparel brand to just inside the top 20 in 2022. Founded in 1985, Tommy Hilfiger business has had its ups and downs, but right now is tackling headline customer conversation head-on with an increasing number of sustainable and genderless ranges. This brand's 'Toughness' credentials seem to radiate from how pieces are conceived and made. Heavyweight materials. Strong visible seaming. And classic, seasonless collections designed to be relevant for years.
19. Rolls Royce. Engines.
The Rolls Royce of this... The Rolls Royce of that... We've probably all said it. And you may have heard Kiverco described as The Rolls Royce of Recycling Plant! (We'll take the compliment). A brand with arguably the world's most exclusive perception, its cars describe themselves as 'an everlasting expression of the exceptional'. So whilst Kiverco's price premium is nowhere near that of this Global Icon, it's nice to be mentioned in the same sentence. RR sits at this year's number 19.
18. Dyson. Vacuum Cleaners.
Dyson launched the first mainstream bagless vacuum cleaner as recently as 1991 and now employs over 12,000 people. Singapore based, this 5 billion pound turnover business is loved by some, as strongly as it is disliked by others, largely because of its exit from the UK. Nevertheless, Dyson's tough, attractive and clever cleaners still command a premium price point and a market share in 2022 of more than twice its closest rival in the UK in 2022. Its crystal clear promise of 'no loss of suction' - whilst clearly being a 'category-wide promise' these days - remains largely synonymous with the brand that said it first.
17. Dr Martens. Footware.
The black and yellow tab is still around today. Ever since it, and the brand, were introduced in the late 1940's. Most people will have owned at least one pair of Docs. And how many of those people will have worn them until they were no longer wearable? Probably none. Docs age well. They're so tough the integrity of the boot generally remains intact. They do what they promise - for years. And that's why they list as high as 17.
16. Tonka. Toys.
A classic. Authentic, old-school toughness. Adverts with elephants standing on toy tipper trucks. (Remember them?) Now this is a tough brand! Not just because the diecast toys really are tough, but because the brand is so consistent with its message! This brand knows what it's about. As do all great brands. 'Tonka Tough' - is real!
15. DeWalt. Power Tools.
Well done DeWalt! Our second most highly placed Power Tools brand of 2022. Owned by Stanley Black & Decker, US based DeWalt champions versatility, performance and reliability. DeWalt is considered to perform better and for longer, and to cost a little more, than the more price-accessible middle-market brands. That's the way it goes with tougher brands. Higher laydown price - greater lifetime value.
14. Mercedes. Vehicles.
This luxury vehicle brand - somehow - makes us feel that it doesn't just 'make' vehicles - it really does 'engineer' them. We imagine white coated Germans studying complex technical drawings. Carefully balancing micrometers at finely tuned engines. Rejecting anything that isn't 'just so'. Tough standards. Tough vehicles.
13. Tefal. Cookware & Appliances.
It's clear why Tefal made the list. Those that voted for it referenced that their own Tefal cookware had been around for years! With mostly very little performance deterioration. Tefal is French and just over 50 years old in 2022. And did you know that the Tefal name is a fusion of the TEFlon and Aluminium. Well; you do now.
12. North Face. Clothing.
An (over) 50 year old clothing brand in 2022, North Face's reputation as a high end technical clothing brand is vast. Many Kiverco people own North Face. We see them wear it. North Face is an American brand so called because the North Face of a mountain is the toughest to climb. Ah! A brand that celebrates toughness. Love it.
11. John Deere. Agricultural Machinery.
180 years old, 25 additional brands in their wider portfolio, and sitting just outside the top 10 of Kiverco's 2022 Tough Love league. There's an increasing sustainability push with the Deere brand which is good. Well made machines, and the precision and productivity this gives is the reason this brand ranked so highly.
10. Gorilla. Adhesives & Sealants.
Yes! Gorilla made it into the 2022 top 10. A relatively new brand (1994) it's done so well not least because of its singular vision. Gorilla wants to be known as the strongest and most versatile 'do-it-once, do-it-right' adhesives and tapes. That's it! For those jobs you just can't be bothered going back to. For those jobs you want the peace of mind that stuck-will-stay-stuck. One of the strongest and most narrowly focussed brands you'll ever see.
09. Levi. Clothing.
Another top 10 clothing brand in Kiverco's Tough Love league for 2022. Levi's is an archetypal global brand that almost everyone will have heard of. That's great brand awareness. But the fact that Kiverco's team rated Levi's for toughness and longevity (or what we'd call an 'longer useful life') - that's credit to Levi's brand strength. Levi's is known not just for who they are - but for what they stand for, too. Classically designed and superbly manufactured denim that lasts.
08. Snickers. Workware.
Just inside the Kiverco Tough Love top ten sits Snickers. The workwear. Not the chocolate. Again, this is based on first hand experience from the obsessive creatives and makers in our team. Those that want a brand so tough that it does what it's supposed do best. So they can get on with doing what they're supposed to do best. (Remind you of anyone? Yes... us too!)
07. O'Neills. Sportswear.
Founded in 1918, O'Neills initially manufactured Gaelic footballs. At time of writing (early 2022) O'Neills is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Ireland. And as Kiverco is a Northern Ireland headquartered brand, I guess that goes some way to explaining O'Neill's appearance. That and the fact that the Kiverco team members that buy O'Neills vouch for it being really, really tough! O'Neills gear lasts.
06. LEGO. Toys.
Does anybody not love Lego? Unless they stand on it with bare feet, of course. Lego has charmed every generation since 1949, peaking as the world's biggest toy brand in 2021. Lego is tough. Indestructible? Well; no. But how many people can tell stories of 'breaking' Lego? Not many. Lego... Kiverco's highest ranking toy in 2022.
05. JCB. Construction Equipment.
A British manufacturer respected around the world since 1945. And a brand so powerful that JCB is very often used as a generic term for any and all diggers and excavators. This only really happens when brands are perceived to be category leaders. Kiverco leads the Recycling Plant category as the world's toughest recycling plant. JCB, similarly, are perceived to lead the digger and excavator categories. Soulmates!
04. Audi. Vehicles.
A surprise, maybe. Because Audi's brand rarely talks directly about toughness. Maybe it's the fact that some of the Kiverco team drive Audis. Or maybe it's the German's reputation for world class engineering (a bit like ourselves!). Whatever the reason, Audi is 2022's second highest ranking vehicle brand.
03. Caterpillar. Construction & Mining.
A great example of how powerful brand positioning transcends categories. Tough construction and mining solutions - yes. But can Cat's association with toughness convincingly carry over to boots? Yep! No problem at all.
02. Toyota. Vehicles.
Ah! Close. But this year, it's number 2 for Toyota. It was actually a Toyota product brand that positioned Toyota so highly in 2022. The Toyota Hilux. One tough vehicle!
01. Milwaukee. Power Tools.
The 2022 Winner. With just a couple more votes than the rest. It was close. Nothing but HEAVY DUTY they say. And it seems like the Kiverco team agrees. Congratulations to Milwaukee. The brand that the Kiverco team - for 2022 at least - love and admire most for toughness.