Australians Google any and everything. They're glued to their Nokias, chuck a chicken on the barbie, indulge with Tim Tams and everyone has the hots for Hugh. Breast cancer has the strongest pull on their heartstrings, while Apple and Wii keep Australians constantly amused.
These are among the top brands in Australia according to the 2009 Brand Asset Valuator (BAV), a study conducted by George Patterson Y&R every three years. The latest BAV study examined 1,200 brands covering 139 different categories. More than 4,000 Australian consumers were surveyed online as part the WPP agency's database of consumer perceptions of brands.
"What we're seeing here are high-engagement players taking precedence over the more traditional and prestige brands. There is a new dynamic here which will have a significant impact on how marketers invest in their in their brands in the future," said David Evans, national research director of George Patterson's brand asset consulting division.
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"We saw the beginnings of this in the 2006 BAV study, when Google came in at No. 4. Today it is the most deserving leader of the pack right across the board due a combination of factors, delivering on promises, continuous energy and steady service innovation. Apple's five products are also clear consumer favorites."
This year's BAV incorporates a new algorithm that tracks consumer trust in brands. And despite numerous recent stories to the contrary, consumers' trust in brands has actually increased.
This is perhaps most evident in the service and finance sector, where new entrants Youi and ING have powered ahead of their conventional competitors. It also turns up in BAV's first data on media and sports stars with all-around nice guys, Hugh Jackman and Michael Clarke, blitzing the field and adding significantly to their earning potential. Among the most-trusted brands are those consumers rely when they're not feeling so flash: Panadol, Band Aid, Neurofen and Herron rank in the top 15.
There are also losers in Australia's multibillion-dollar brandscape. Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) is punch drunk, while four of the top losers are clothing brands, Mambo, Stussy, Sportsgirl and Quicksilver. Several premium luxury brands have been hammered by the financial crisis with watches, jewelry and hotels slipping badly.
Consumers have also delivered a wake-up call for the car industry. BMW has fallen of its perch with Citroen and Land Rover also in decline. In other categories, NineMSN has taken a bath, while lamb has been given the chop in favor of chicken as Australians' favorite meat to BBQ.
"Marketers can use BAV to determine their investment priorities, brand by brand and category by category. The study is also identifying new consumer trends, such as boomers being the first generation ever to follow the brand adoption patterns of a younger generation," Mr. Evans said.