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Optus suffers as Woolworths and Bunnings top Australia's brand rankings

Customer experience was the biggest factor for brand strength in 2022.

Optus smartphone app
Optus saw its brand value significantly impacted by last year's cyberattack, which saw 9.8 million customers' details exposed. (Source: AP)

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths is the country's most valuable brand, as telecommunications company Optus suffered a $1.2 billion blow to its image following last year's cyberattack, new data has revealed.

In its latest annual report, brand-valuation consultancy Brand Finance Australia reported that Optus plummeted 27 spots down the list to number 41. Australia's second-largest wireless carrier saw its brand value fall 19 per cent - to $3.3 billion - after data of 9.8 million customers was exposed in September last year.

Woolworths leads again

Woolworths, on the other hand, saw its brand value rise 18 per cent - to $16.2 billion - as it continued to focus on customer experience, marking the fourth year in a row the retailer topped the rankings.

Things are on the up for Optus rival Telstra, the country's largest mobile network, which saw a 29 per cent brand value increase - to $13.2 billion. It bagged second place thanks to its emphasis on customer service, value for money, and strong consideration and recommendation across customers, Brand Finance Australia said.

At its heels is Commonwealth Bank, which came in third following sizeable growth in the past year, reversing its previous decline by lifting its value by 28 per cent - to $11.4 billion.

Coles also saw its brand value increase by 10 per cent - to $10.9 billion - retaining its fourth spot on the list as it improved scores for quality and value for money, as well as flexibility and innovation.

Top 10 most valuable Australian brands and their brand value:

1. Woolworths - $16.2 billion

2. Telstra - $13.2 billion

3. Commonwealth Bank - $11.4 billion

4. Coles - $10.9 billion

5. NAB - $7.9 billion

6. BHP - $7.7 billion

7. ANZ - $7.6 billion

8. OMC Pacific Mining - $6.5 billion

9. Bunnings Warehouse - $5.4 billion

10. Westpac - $5.2 billion

Bunnings remains strongest brand

In addition to calculating brand value, Brand Finance Australia also determines the relative strength of brands by evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.

For the second year in a row, household hardware chain Bunnings leads the list as Australia's strongest brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.2 out of 100.

Woolworths and Coles follow in second and third place, respectively, while Telstra secured its spot in fourth on the list following a six-point rise. Commonwealth Bank jumped three spots to become the fifth-strongest brand.

According to Brand Finance Australia, the backlash Optus received following last year's data breach unsurprisingly also hit the company's brand strength.

"Across the world, there's been significant disruption in labour markets, goods markets, and fuel markets," Brand Finance Australia managing director Mark Crowe commented.

"Despite this disruption, Australian brands have grown quickly as they bounce back from the pandemic-disrupted past. With customers facing significant cost pressures, strong brands have an opportunity to earn a premium return."

Top 10 strongest Australian brands and their BSI:

1. Bunnings Warehouse - 88.2

2. Woolworths - 87.3

3. Coles - 85.7

4. Telstra - 84.8

5. Commonwealth Bank - 84.6

6. OfficeWorks - 83.7

7. JB HiFi - 83.4

8. Seek - 82.9

9. NRMA - 82.6

10. Kmart - 82.3

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