German supermarket brand ALDI has become Australia’s most trusted brand, according to the Net Trust Score survey conducted by Australian market research company Roy Morgan.
The revelation is rather ironic considering that ALDI has only been gracing Australia’s shores since 2001 and has built up an empire of over 500 stores in that time.
Claiming the title of most-trusted brand means the German company pips several other Australian-made brands that have amassed over a century of operational experience in Australia.
Despite a strong head start, brands such as Bendigo Bank, Bunnings and Australian Post scored lower than ALDI in Roy Morgan’s survey.
According to ALDI, the company has influenced grocery prices, improved the perception and quality of private label goods with its own exclusive brands philosophy and introduced a number of market-leading initiatives never before seen in Australia.
The German retailer has swept up millions of Australian consumers in recent years with its uber-competitive range of goods including everything from consumables to motorbike gear.
ALDI says it has “many more stores planned for the eastern seaboard over the coming years as part of an “ambitious expansion program” that’s already in place.
Roy Morgan survey
The survey was conducted amongst 4,000 respondents and was “unprompted and open-ended” with both quantitative and qualitative elements in order to present an accurate picture of brand loyalty in Australia.
The most recent survey was completed this month and is done on an annual basis to gauge the ongoing tussle for Australian brand superiority. Failure to recognise the trends influencing a company’s brand can be rather costly, according to financial services giant Deloitte.
In a new report commissioned by Facebook, Deloitte found that businesses whose brands stagnated over the past year also saw their revenues fall by 13%.
This means that for a business with an annual review of $1 billion or more, the attitude to its brand can influence around $130 million in revenue each year. Brand-supportive initiatives can promote and multiply revenues while brand-destructive measures do the exact opposite.
The growth of Internet inter-connectivity and greater mobile adoption are two more factors that have helped to exacerbate the effect of any positive (or negative) branding decisions companies make.
For smaller businesses, the effect is the same and can be just as devastating, especially in the early stages of a company’s development.
ALDI tops the list
Last year, ALDI was deemed to be in 3rd position with Qantas moving from 1st to 4th spot over the past year.
This year, ALDI makes top spot with the NRMA in second and Bendigo in third.
Australia’s top 10 most trusted brands:
- National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA)
- Bendigo Bank
- ABC Network
- Australia Post
Roy Morgan’s survey is particularly of interest as it looks at the brands that are deemed ‘most trusted’ as opposed to ‘most popular’ or ‘best-selling’.
The importance of trust to a brand’s sustainable future is increasingly recognised as a key metric in modern markets, nowhere more so than within consumer spending patterns on which the survey is essentially based.
Important drivers of trust include reliability, customer focus, knowledgeable staff, ease of contact and previous good experiences with the company. Whereas drivers of brand distrust revolve around perceptions of self-centredness, greed, and dishonest business practices.
“Nowhere is a high level of trust more important than when it comes to the provision of the food we eat,” said Ms Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan.
Ms Levine referred to ALDI’s determined attempt to get into consumers’ good books with its themed sales periods and sustained discount offers that have angered supermarket competitors such as Coles, Woolworths and IGA (but has clearly been a boon for ALDI in the brand loyalty stakes).
“The success of ALDI’s entrance to the Australian market has been built not only on discount prices but also a reputation for reliability and meeting the needs of consumers,” said Ms Levine.
Furthermore, Ms Levine said that “ALDI’s ability to excel at its core competencies has built a level of trust in the Australian market without at the same time attracting the degree of distrust seen by its rivals. Measuring trust alone is never enough – we need to measure distrust and then subtract it from trust to reveal the accurate health of a brand,” she said.
“To rise to meet the challenge presented by ALDI, and other newer entrants into grocery category such as Amazon Fresh, Costco and Kaufland, traditional market leaders Coles and Woolworths need to develop strategies to reduce their growing levels of distrust,” said Ms Levine.