brands 300x250 Google and Microsoft now the top brands in AustraliaAustralians love their tech. They Google any and everything. They rely on Microsoft and Apple to get the job done, relax in front of their Sony TVs, keep in touch with their Nokias and iPhones and sell their stuff on eBay.

These are among the top brands in Australia according to the 2010 Brand Asset Valuator (BAV) study conducted by the global brand authority, Brand Asset Consulting

Google leads the table of top brands (listed at the bottom of this post) followed, surprisingly, by Microsoft, which rates higher on the BAV than Apple or our national condiment Vegemite.

Former perennial favourites like Tim Tam, Coca-Cola, Kit Kat and Nike have slipped as consumers become increasingly demanding and fickle. In 2000, 40 per cent of consumers were loyal to an individual brand. Today that figure is just nine per cent.

“Brands that are seen as betraying consumer’s trust, that don’t deliver on value and customer service, are being punished,” says BAV research director David Evans.

“Toyota and BP had a shocking year with their product recalls and the Gulf oil spill. Chocolate brands which boomed as the GFC made us all depressed, are being cut from our list of favourite indulgences as we’re feeling a lot more relaxed and comfortable.”

While Australian’s appear to love technology companies, they don’t trust casinos, men’s magazines or flavoured mineral waters.

“What’s happened over the past 12 months is that too many brands have become commodities. Most don’t stand for anything; they look and feel the same, which is causing consumers to choose brands based on price or convenience. In turn, this is forcing marketers to discount and bundle in a vicious circle of margin reduction and business decline. Take for instance the insurance market. Most of the main insurers are dancing on a price pinhead, with the exception of Youi (insurance company) which has an engaging story and service delivery to match.”

Evans says that the flip side to this is “Who Dares Wins”. And daring brands like Google, Apple, Virgin and Red Bull are reaping the rewards of increasing sales and engagement by being fresh, innovative and providing a great customer experience.

“Increasingly people are making purchases from companies that reflect their values. Even though Australia emerged from the GFC in relatively good shape, consumers are changing their buying behaviour. They are now much more circumspect, more aware of what they are buying and more questioning of the values of the companies from which they buy brands. They are demanding transparency and honesty. Status is no longer the point. Value is what really matters.”

The 2010 BAV Study examined 1000 brands covering 120 different categories. More than 2000 Australian consumers were surveyed on-line as part BAC’s database of consumer perceptions of brands which is conducted and compiled each year. The Australian database now has more than 1billion brand facts and opinions.

2010 TOP 10 BRANDS IN AUSTRALIA

  • Google (search)
  • Microsoft
  • Google (portal)
  • Microsoft (office)
  • Nokia
  • Sony
  • Apple
  • eBay
  • Apple iPhone
  • Vegemite

BAV 2010 LEAST TRUSTED BRANDS

  • FHM (Men’s Magazine)
  • Star City (Casino in Sydney)
  • Nutrient water
  • Smart Water
  • Tiger Airways (Discount Airline)
  • Jupiters (Casino on the Gold Coast)
  • Instyle (Fashion/Gossip magazine)
  • MySpace
  • Betfair
  • Linked In