BMW, Apple, Harris Farm, Qantas, AFR Win The 2023 Premium Brand Awards

Tuscaloosa, United States – October 10, 2022: The front of a white BMW M4 parked on a street with trees in the background
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

The 2023 Premium Brand winners have been announced with brands including American Express, BMW, Macquarie Bank, and The Australian Financial Review included.

According to social scientist Dr Ross Honeywill, Australia is in a two-speed consumer economy, and each speed has a “fundamentally different consumer mindset.” The ‘fast lane’ is the New Economic Order (NEO) mindset, in which 90 per cent of consumers are ‘big spenders’ who happily spend on frequent, premium experiences.

Meanwhile, traditional mindset consumers in the ‘slow lane’, are price-sensitive, reluctant-spending consumers.
Roy Morgan’s 2023 Premium Brand rankings focus on the spending of the top 50 per cent of NEO consumers, known as Super NEOs.

Macquarie Bank was the top-rated bank in the financial services sector, while UniSuper was the most premium-preferred superannuation brand. American Express was the winner of the payments category, and BUPA took out top-rated private health insurance. Super NEOs preferred AAMI for general insurance and Zurich for life insurance.

In automotive, which Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said is always a close competition, BMW was the top-rated, beating Audi and Mercedes, which came second and third, respectively. Meanwhile, across retail, Harris Farm Markets topped the supermarket category.

“Its win is more significant, given its largely concentrated in New South Wales,” Michele Levine said. “In other words, it was up against national brands but still came out on top.”

In fashion, which Levine said was another competitive category, Country Road was the top-rated brand, followed by David Jones, Amazon and The Iconic.

Qantas won the airline category across domestic and international preferences. “Virgin Australia was close, very strong in domestic travel. But international preferences pushed Qantas over the line to win”, Levine said.

“The energy sector is heavily commoditised,” she said, “so there was a very close call on whether there would actually be a winner.” However, “AGL had enough points to get it across the line,” topping the electricity and gas provider categories. “The influence of Mike Cannon-Brookes on AGL and his renewable strategy for the brand played well with NEOs, particularly with Super NEOs,” she said.

Vodafone was rated the top premium mobile phone and home internet provider, while Apple topped the smartphone category. Across the media sector, the Australian Financial Review won the cross-platform news brand category, just ahead of The Australian and The Saturday Paper.

Australian Gourmet Traveller won the cross-platform magazine category, while Domain topped the newspaper-inserted magazine category. Apple TV+ topped the video streaming category, followed by Paramount+. Amazon Music won music streaming, followed closely by Apple Music.

“At first I was surprised not to see Spotify on the list,” said Levine. “But then I remembered that a brand so dominant attracts everyone, so statistically, it’s hard for NEOs to stand out from the crowd.

“That’s why we didn’t see Netflix on the list for video streaming either,” she said.

Finally, Luxury Escapes topped the online travel brand category.

Levine acknowledged that not all media categories are covered in the Premium Brands rankings.
“There’s radio or TV, and there are NEO preferences in these categories, but they are not significant enough to meet the strict rules that put a winning brand ahead of the rest,” she said.

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