Woolworths has been declared as Australia’s most trusted brand with rival Coles close behind in second place, a new report has revealed.
With the pandemic-induced lockdowns leading to a boom in retail sales as Aussies spent time at home baking bread, Australia’s biggest supermarkets led the pack in Roy Morgan’s study of Australia’s most trusted brands.
In fact, five of six of the most-trusted brands in Roy Morgan’s latest Risk Report are major retailers, with Bunnings in third place on the list followed by Aldi.
Australia’s major carrier Qantas was fifth on the list, followed by discount department store Kmart.
The essential nature of supermarkets have kept them front and centre of Australians’ minds, said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.
“Woolworths and Coles have both moved up the trust league ladder during the COVID period with their supply of food and drink (and toilet paper) keeping the economy moving, and households well-stocked, during several lockdowns which forced the closure of other retailers for sometimes months on end,” Levine said.
Meanwhile, Bunnings and Aldi have earned places high in the ranks with Bunnings staying open as an essential business and supplying goods to Aussie traders and building industries, she added.
Tech giant Apple also ranked among the top 10 in the list, leapfrogging an incredible 78th places to 7th place, followed by Toyota.
The brands Aussies DON’T trust
On the other end of the spectrum, some of Australia’s biggest household names were named as Australia’s most distrusted brands, with Facebook in first place on this list.
This was followed by major telco Telstra and news conglomerate NewsCorp.
The trustworthiness of all Big Four banks’, which were in the top 10 on the list previously, improved during the pandemic.
Westpac was the least-trusted Big Four bank at 8th place, followed by Commonwealth Bank at 13th place, NAB at 16th place and ANZ at 20th place.
The companies that have ranked in the top 20 most distrusted brands have made “a litany of missteps and controversies”, Levine noted, such as Rio Tinto’s destruction of the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge site and Huawei and TikTok’s association with the Chinese government.
Levine said that company leaders needed to take seriously trust, or lack thereof, describing distrust as a “brand liability”.
“Increasingly the leaders of our biggest companies are realising that trust is mandatory but distrust is deadly,” she said.
“Distrust remains the number one risk factor for the nation’s companies because it is the toxic element in brand equity,” she said.
Roy Morgan surveys approximately 1,800 Australians each month for its Risk Monitor report to determine which are the most and least trusted brands across 900 brands and 26 industries.