It is that time of year again when The Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA) and Ispos Reid collaborated to survey 6,006 Canadians during December 2015 to unveil the Top 10 Most Influential Brands in Canada. The Most Influential Brands actually evaluates 100+ brands that spend the most on advertising in Canada. The study examines five main categories – leading edge, trustworthiness, presence, corporate citizenship and engagement. Steve Levy, COO at Ipsos explains, "Brands are more than just corporate logos. They have meaning, personality, even attitude. When it comes to asking which brand is the most trustworthy, has the most presence or is most engaging, the answer can be a personal one. This is because we increasingly identify with, relate to and define ourselves by them, which gives brands something we can measure: influence." Many of our answers can be persuaded by advertising – many people believe what the company 'selling,' not on any factual basis.
The top ten most influential brands and their change from 2014 in parenthesis – Google (-), Apple (+2), Microsoft (-1), Facebook (-1), YouTube (-), Visa (+1), Walmart (-1), Tim Hortons (-), Amazon (+2) and Samsung (-1). The top ten brands continue to be a "combination of digital service/social media, technology, retail and credit card brands." Google retained its number one position for the fourth consecutive year and Amazon finally cracked the top ten, up from eleven last year. Apple moved up two spots from last year to take the number two spot because customers continue to pick it as "the most leading edge brand…in terms of it being perceived as innovative, trendsetting and that it has forever changed the consumer landscape." Maybe back in the iPod days or when the first iPhone came out, but with technology, we always have to ask, "What have you done for me lately?"
Most of these brands we use on a daily basis or with such frequency they become a part of our daily lives. Of course, differences in age cause a big disparity in our selection – Millennials (born 1982 -1996) choose tech and social brands the highest and would add Netflix, PayPal and Instagram to their top ten. Gen Xers (born 1965 – 1981) ranked Walmart highest (#5) of any group and Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964) ranked Microsoft more influential than Apple and included CBC and Canadian Tire in their top ten.