Which 10 consumer brands influence Australians the most?

If you had to list the brands with which you interacted in the past 24 hours, what would appear?

Google? Probably.

Facebook? Almost definitely.

And you probably used an Apple or Microsoft device to access both of the above, all while hooked up to Telstra broadband.

Sound about right?

It should, considering these brands are five of the 10 most influential in Australia.

And while it might not be sexy, it’s not surprising that Bunnings also makes it into the top 10.

The ranking comes from the Ipsos-led study into the nation’s most influential consumer brands, now in its sixth year.

Polling 2000 Australians, the study measures a brand’s influence according to five factors: leading edge, engagement, trustworthiness, citizenship and presence.

The top 10 were selected from a list of market-leading overseas and local brands.

“In the digital world of today brands have a power to perform a role above and beyond providing just one service or product,” said Gillian O’Sullivan, managing director of Ipsos marketing, Australia & New Zealand.

“Technology-focused companies are rising further and further up the rankings, with eight out of the top 10 brands in Australia being technology-focused companies … of course with a couple of exceptions.”

10: BunningsAmid the tech giants on the list, Bunnings Warehouse sticks out with its bricks and mortar presence and a business model which continues to shun the online marketplace.

“The strength of Bunnings as a brand surprises me every year,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

“It’s not a very sexy brand, but it has consistently done the same thing very well year in, year out. One of the questions we ask is, ‘Is there an attribute of this brand I would be willing to defend?’ Bunnings has always done well on that dimension. That’s a great measure of the strength of a brand.”

9: TelstraTelstra has appeared in the top 10 every year for the past four years –and for one reason.

“You can’t escape Telstra. And a brand that has strong presence like Telstra is seen to lead competitors.”

Telstra’s influence has been further cemented with the roll-out of the NBN, for which it is delivering services to around half of all connected homes.

While the telco ranked at No.7 for Gen X and Baby Boomers, it failed to rate for millennials in their own top 10.

8: YouTubeYouTube’s influence is linked to its ability to foster “emotional engagement” among Australians.

Ms O’Sullivan saidthe platform succeeds with its strong branding and dominance as the “go-to place” for everything from hard-hitting news, to entertainment and music.

7: AppleWhile brands have always been influential in their own right, globalisation has blurred the boundaries of who brands influence and how.

“From a consumer perspective we used to only see brands operating in one or two categories. Now we see brands able to extend beyond the category in which they originated,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

Ipsos defined Apple as such a brand, deeming it “the trendsetter brand”.

6: eBayeBay stood out among Australian consumers for “changing behaviour”. As the original one-to-one global trader it was through eBay that many Australians first began shopping online.

MsO’Sullivansaid it was evidence that brands creating new ways of doing things have great influence.

5: ColesOne of the three local brands to make it into the rankings, Coles leads all other Australian supermarkets in understanding consumer needs. Its success comes despite the constant threat from German discount giant Aldi.

However Coles will be keeping a close eye on the US high-end grocer Whole Foods, bought this week by Amazon, which is set to start trading in Australia from next year.

4: PayPalThis year was the first Ipsosincluded PayPal in the survey. So it came as a surprise when it landed at No.4.

“Our hunch was that PayPal was a strong brand. But to land at No.4 was a surprise.”

According to the study, PayPal is the most trusted brand in Australia.

3: MicrosoftMicrosoft has more or less maintained its position in the Ipsosstudy over the past four years.

According to the surveyed Australians, it’s considered to have “unwavering importance” in the lives of consumers.

2: FacebookOne of the biggest changes from 2016 was that Microsoft and Facebook swapped places, which Ms O’Sullivan may reflect “where things are headed”.

“Facebook has definitely moved up the ranks the last few years, that’s no surprise. We see Facebook being a really strong brand among every generation … it’s just as relevant to grandmothers as it is to millennials.”

1: GoogleA brand is surely doing something right when its very name becomes a verb.

And so for the fourth year in a row Google has been declared the most influential brand –in Australia, across the globe and among all generational groups.

According to the survey results, among Australian consumers it leads in innovation, originality and reliability.

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