Innovation and brand experience have proven to be critical factors driving performance according to the latest BrandZ™ Top 40 Most Valuable Australian Brands report released today by WPP and Kantar. Those perceived as highly innovative are growing on average 10 per cent faster than brands with a medium-to-low score, while high brand experience performers are seeing a nine per cent improvement in value.
Brands involved in the new digital retail economy are clear leaders in mastering two of the key indicators – innovation and experience. Joining the Top 40 for the first time are Australia Post (No. 21, US$1.1 billion) indexing 125 for innovation and 138 for brand experience, and Afterpay (No. 20, US$1.2 billion) with 124 for innovation.
“BrandZ research highlights the importance of a strong brand as one of the key building blocks of resilient businesses,” says Ryan France, Kantar Australia Executive Director Brand.
“Overall, Australia’s biggest brands have dropped five per cent to US$96.8 billion led by the telco sector witnessing an 18 per cent fall as major players struggled with reduced margins; however, there are eight new entrants to the ranking in 2019. This demonstrates that no-one can be complacent. Companies that don’t invest in developing a strong brand can easily be replaced by those that are more effective in meeting consumer needs.”
Despite the challenging year the banking sector faced that prompted a fall 13 per cent in total category brand value, it still maintained a powerful presence within the Top 40. CommBank retains the top spot with a value of US$15.9 billion, followed by ANZ at US$10.9 billion and Westpac at number 4 (US$7.6 billion).
The dividing line between many of the best performers and those that struggled was their level of perceived consumer trust – another key indicator of recommendation and increasingly important in the social media age. One sector demonstrating the power of trust is retail. Bunnings (No. 9, US$2.7 billion) is Australia’s most trusted brand with a score of 144, achieving a standout growth of 46 percent.
“Bunnings is a brilliant example of the power of combining consumer trust with being highly meaningful and different to the competition,” says James Brown, Kantar Australia Executive Director Retail and Shopper.
“Those that achieved this compelling mix performed six times better in this year’s ranking; and while bricks and mortar retail is facing some challenges, the sector still boasts some of our most trusted brands and this is a strong asset to have as they navigate the tough economic climate. Aussie consumers do trust those brands that are highly meaningful and different to their competitors.”
“The 2019 ranking not only highlights the importance of trust, but the dire consequences of losing it,” says David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and Chairman of BrandZ.
“Brands that have seen their value drop this year need to look to those that are getting it right and determine the long-term strategies they need to adopt to win back the consumer confidence that will act as a lever for growth.”
The report can be downloaded here.