Australians trust brands less, but find Woolies the most meaningful

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 4 May 2015

Brands in Australia are suffering from a trust deficit, according to a new survey from Havas Media.

According to a global study, Australians are less trusting of brands than the global average, with only 31% placing trust in brands against the global average of 40%.

It found that Australians' trust of brands is more in line with places such as North American and Western Europe rather than the broader Asia Pacific region.

It should be noted, however, that Australia's 31% is up from 29% during the last survey period last year.

The finding was one of the revelations to come from the Meaningful Brands Study, which covered 1000 brands, 300,000 people, and 34 countries.

The study aimed to find a metric of brand strength, driven by things like the impact of a brand on emotional wellbeing, collective wellbeing and a brand meeting functional needs.

Havas said by placing well in these standards, that a brand could drive awareness and sales.

“The Meaningful Brands Study demonstrates that brands perceived as improving consumers’ lives also deliver better performance across measures of brand awareness, consumer engagement and profitability,” Havas Australia's head of strategy, Imogen Hewitt, said.

“The most successful brands are those that create meaning and value by delivering on their promises to consumers. That could be through tangibles like price [and] performance or intangibles like personal wellbeing or community engagement.”

The top brands for Australia were: 

  • Woolworths
  • Google
  • Coles
  • PayPal
  • Kellogg's
  • Samsung
  • Microsoft
  • Vegemite
  • Milo
  • and Visa

 The fourth placing for PayPal, a Havas Media client, demonstrated that a brand doesn't need to be a behemoth to drive awareness if it is able to demonstrate it can improve consumers' lives.

Havas said consumer electronics leant heavily on providing emotional well-being while retail heavyweights such as Woolworths and Coles leant on being able to supply “marketplace outputs”, meaning providing functional needs.

It also said that brands that create “meaningful brand” status can generate sales 46% above the category average.

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