Google tops latest brand influence list while Samsung climbs

New Ipsos and Havas Media Group brand reports highlight rising importance of consumer engagement with your brand as a key market driver

Google has again come up trumps as Australia’s most influential brand among consumers, the latest Ipsos Most Influential Brands study for 2015 reports.

According to the market research company, technology and digital brands dominated the top rankings this year, with Google followed by eBay, Microsoft and Facebook in second, third and fourth position on the list. Notably, eBay jumped three places to reach the second spot this year.

In fifth place was Australian supermarket giant, Woolworths. Rounding out the top 10 were Apple, Samsung, Bunnings, YouTube and Coles.

Strong performers this year included Samsung, which jumped seven places from 14th to seventh position; YouTube, which made it into the top 10 list for the first time, up from 12th in 2014; and Commonwealth Bank, which rose from 18th to 14th position in 2015.

The Ipsos brand influence list measures 100 brands, each ranked based on their level of influence. Brands were graded on five factors: Engagement, trustworthiness, leading edge, corporate citizenship and presence. Ipsos then undertakes an online survey of 1000 Australian consumers using its iView panel.

The Australian version of the survey was launched last year and comes off the back of a global brand project undertaken by Ipsos.

“To exert influence, a brand needs to impact or change the way people shop, think, act and behave,” Ipsos marketing managing director, Gillian O’Sullivan, said. “It needs to become a fundamental part of life, shape consumers’ desires and help consumers get through their day.

“A brand must be seen to be really important in the world today and even impact the way people interact with one another. This year’s study shows just how quickly consumer attitudes towards brands can change. There were some significant moves up and down in brand influence rankings, and the worst hit were the more established brands.”

Last week, the Meaningful Brands Study conducted by Havas Media Group globally showed meaningful brands gain 46 per cent more share of wallet on average than less meaningful brands, as well as deliver KPI outcomes that are double that of lower scoring brands. They also outperform the stock market by nearly seven fold, with top scorers delivering an annual return of 11.76 per cent, the report stated.

‘Meaningful brand’ is the metric Havas uses to indicate brand strength. The group’s research encompasses 1000 brands and 300,000 people across 34 countries.

In Australia, the report identified the top 10 performing brands as Woolworths, Google, Coles, PayPal, Kellogg’s, Samsung, Microsoft, Vegemite, Milo and Visa.

Havas noted consumer electronic brands most commonly leveraged emotional well-being, highlighting self-expression and social connections, while retail heavyweights such as Woolworths and Coles relied on marketplace outputs and meeting functional needs. Vegemite also ranked highly both for its ability to resonate emotional and as a value offering with nostalgia and heritage attributes.

The Havas report also found Australians made for more sceptical consumers, with only 31 per cent trusting of brands, a figure comparable to the US (22 per cent) and Western Europe (31 per cent).

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