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Aussies shun sexy brands in favour of Vegemite

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Aussies shun sexy brands in favour of Vegemite

EXCLUSIVE: Australians are rejecting sophisticated and sexy brands preferring to opt for down to earth, pragmatic and optimistic marques, while iconic brands such as Qantas can no longer rely on their heritage and public affection to make them desirable.

We also prefer home grown brands over the more prestigious names such as Gucci, Prada and Cartier, with only four of the top 30 most desirable brands in Australia either considered prestige or elite compared to the UK and China which had over three times as many.

While Google, followed by Apple topped the list of most desirable brands in Australia, Vegemite (4), ABC (6), Milo (11), and Nudie (15) all featured highly in the top 100 most desired brands list which was produced by M&C Saatchi-owned branding agency Clear.

Unsurprisingly Apple is the most desired brand globally according to the results of the study of 22,000 consumers across six countries, up 9% on last year, with Google second up 6%. Sony was third followed by BMW, Microsoft, WWF, Mercedes, Disney, Audi and Tiffany & Co rounding out the top ten.

The results from Australia, which was included in the study for the first time, show that while iconic names such as Vegemite are still highly desired by consumers, other brands that once had a deep
connection with the public are beginning to falter. Qantas, which was battered by a series of PR disasters and safety scares last year, was soundly beaten by Dubai-based airline Emirates. The flying Kangaroo was the 85th most desired brand compared to Emirates at 32. Virgin Australia was 88.

Of the 155 Australian brands tested locally all four of the big banks came near the bottom, just above cigarette brands, while none of the traditional beer brands including VB, XXXX made the top 100, with Tooheys only scraping in at 99. However South Australian independent brewer Coopers bucked the trend in the beer category coming in as the 20th most desired brand in the top 100.

Alan King, managing director of Clear Australia says: “Being an icon doesn’t necessarily make you desired. There is an emotional connection with Qantas but they are falling down on the rational delivery and eroding people’s trust in the belief that Qantas will get them there safely.”

The study which was carried out in November last year found that compared to other countries, Australians are not attracted to the more high end brand names.

“If you look at countries such as China and the UK there are a lot of prestigious brands make their lists whereas those prestige brands don’t carry as much weight in Australia, which makes us very distinct from other markets. We are not really into sophisticated or sexy brands here,” he says.

That reluctance to embrace luxury high end brands is a positive for FMCG companies, King argues. “If you look at the global list and are an FMCG marketer you probably think you had no chance of getting on the most desirable brands list, but there are Australian brands such as Vegemite, Coopers, Panadol and Boost Juice that are all scoring highly here which shows that what we like are pragmatic down to earth brands. They are very Australian and have tapped into what Australians like and as a result people love them.”

After analysing the results, Clear concluded that there were three key types of brands that tended to be more desirable amongst Aussie consumers, reflecting the types of personality and people we are as a country.

The first category defined by Clear is the Larakin which includes Cadbury’s Milo and Coopers, which King says are characterised by being fun, social, carefree and approachable.

The Innovator is a group of brands that are desirable due to their modern, outspoken, open-minded personality. Both Nudie and Boost Juice fall into this category Clear claims.

The final group is the Aussie old-school brands which are reliable, sensible, practical and reassuring. They include Vegemite, the ABC, Weet-Bix and Panadol.

Australia's Top 100 most desirable brands

1 Google
2 Apple
3 WWF
4 Vegemite
5 Sony
6 ABC
7 Rolex
8 Cadbury's
9 Chanel
10 BMW
11 Milo
12 Tiffany
13 Microsoft
14 Visa
15 Nudie
16 YouTube
17 Disney
18 Dettol
19 Skype
20 Coopers
21 Absolut Vodka
22 Unicef
23 Adidas
24 Boost Juice
25 Weetbix
26 Dove
27 eBay
28 Panadol
29 L'Oreal
30 Samsung
31 Olympic Rings
32 Emirates
33 Louis Vuitton
34 Carman's
35 Nivea
36 Colgate
37 Intercontinental
38 Moet Chandon
39 Mercedes
40 Toyota
41 Kraft
42 Prada
43 Calvin Klein
44 Uncle Tobys
45 Bunnings
46 Nike
47 Woolworths
48 Johnson & Johnson
49 Nestle
50 VW
51 Johnnie Walker
52 Honda
53 IKEA
54 LG
55 Coca Cola
56 Arnott's
57 Gap
58 Heinz
59 Starbucks
60 MTV
61 Masterfoods
62 Red Cross
63 Facebook
64 Head & Shoulders
65 Cartier
66 Audi
67 HandM
68 Sure
69 Red RockDeli
70 Nokia
71 Danone
72 Amazon
73 Zara
74 Myer
75 Philips
76 Nintendo
77 Tommy Hilfiger
78 Ford
79 Australia Post
80 Dell
81 Polo RL
82 Nescafe
83 Puma
84 Kelloggs
85 Qantas
86 Harley Davidson
87 MasterCard
88 Virgin Australia
89 Avon
90 Gucci
91 Westfield
92 Jack Daniels
93 Gillette
94 ING
95 Tresemme
96 Hilton
97 HP
98 DHL
99 Tooheys New
100 BlackBerry

This story first appeared in the March 16 issue of B&T

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