at FFWD: Advertising and Marketing Week 2017
Google retains top spot for fifth year, rankings shift and CBC re-enters Top 10
The Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA, www.icacanada.ca) in partnership with Ipsos (www.ipsos.ca) today unveiled the Top 10 Most Influential Brands in Canada – a comprehensive study measuring and ranking today’s brands in Canada and the world — at day two of FFWD: Advertising and Marketing Week 2017 in Toronto. The 2016 Most Influential Brands study was conducted in 19 countries and evaluates 100+ brands that spend the most on advertising in Canada, and ranks their influence. Steve Levy, COO at Ipsos announced the ranking, discussing how this year’s brands achieved their status and why brands are influential.
Most Influential Brands in Canada 2016
1. Google (-)
2. Facebook (+2)
3. Microsoft (-)
4. Apple (-2)
5. Amazon (+4)
6. YouTube (-1)
7. Walmart (-)
8. Visa (-2)
9. Tim Hortons (-1)
10. CBC (+1) back in the top 10
“Our study measures and ranks today’s most influential brands, why they are leading, which generations they influence most, how they impact us and what makes them influential,” explained Mr. Levy. “Visionary brands are founded on a sense of purpose that establishes stronger emotional connections. New technologies have enabled ways to capture consumer feedback, and brands that use this data are more relevant than ever before – their influence cannot be overstated. Our study reveals insights that apply to any business, large or small.”
The Most Influential Brands study examines five key dimensions that drive the most influential brands in Canada: being leading edge, trustworthiness, presence, corporate citizenship and engagement. The study ranks brands according to their influence; this year’s study polled a representative sample of over 6,000 Canadians and more than 40,000 citizens worldwide. Survey findings were analyzed geographically, by gender and across generations including Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and, new this year, Gen Z.
Although the Top 10 brands have remained relatively stable over the past six years, technology-focused companies are rising to the top as social media drives brand influence, underscoring that influence takes time to build. The rankings continue to be a combination of digital service/social media, technology, retail and credit card brands. The one factor that many of these have in common is the frequency with which they are used, which results in them being firmly entrenched in day to day life. The most influential brands are important and relevant; consumers identify with and have an emotional reaction to these brands and couldn’t imagine living their life without them.
Google – the world’s most popular Internet search site — ranks No. 1 for the fifth consecutive year, in part by beefing up its hardware division and using its household name to branch out into new products. Facebook climbed the ranks to No. 2, catering to customer preferences by expanding its offerings and researching emerging technologies. Microsoft, a powerhouse brand for years, is growing in Canada while taking on social networking, and retains its No. 3 position. While pushing tech boundaries and exploring new horizons, Apple drops to No. 4. Amazon, a new addition to the Top Ten last year, continues to grow its influence and is now among the Top Five. Its influence is being driven by its leading edge and engaging nature. As it rides the mobile tsunami, YouTube drops one spot to No. 6. Walmart remains a consistent Top Ten Brand remaining in spot No. 7, while Visa, perceived as ubiquitous and security-focused, drops to No. 8. Canadians continue to adore Tim Hortons, a consistent Top Ten performer at No. 9, while CBC enjoys a return to the Top Ten at No. 10, after several years of hiatus.
A number of differences were found to exist by generation; it is useful to understand how brands impact generations so marketers can deliver products and services that cater to generational tastes. Despite varying attitudes and inclination, Google still tops influence for Millennials, Generation X and Boomers and is second with Generation Z. While the newest category of Generation Z comes of age in a time of political and economic turbulence, YouTube is their brand of choice followed by tech’s big names, plus Netflix, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Similarly, the digital age defines Millennials who love brands like Google, Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, Instagram, Amazon and Android. Gen X are comfortable melding offline and online worlds, as fans of tech pioneers (Apple and Microsoft), are value-conscious (Walmart and President’s Choice) and convenience shoppers (Amazon and credit cards).
Boomers gravitate to technologies and brands they grew up with and while they have adopted search technology such as Google, also prefer traditional sources such as CBC and The Weather Network and are loyal to stalwart brands, being influenced by Visa, Walmart and Canadian Tire.
“While each brand must discover its secret sauce to success, those that deliver on trustworthiness, engagement, leading edge, corporate citizenship and presence will undoubtedly exert influence,” continued Mr. Levy
“Brands play an enormous role in our lives, and this significant study impacts our industry from the C-Suite to marketers, advertisers, agencies, communicators and consumers,” added Scott Knox, president and CEO, ICA. “We’re proud to partner with Ipsos, and lead as a resource for compelling thought leadership and important information as part of our annual FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week.”
The Most Influential Brands study was conducted in October – November 2016. The online survey of 6,030 Canadians was conducted using the Ipsos iSay Panel. The results are based on a sample where weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects Canada’s adult population according to Census data and results approximated the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval, accurate within +/- 1.4 percentage points, had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Subscriptions to the study are available; for more information, please visit http://ipsos.ca/go/influentialbrands/.