Despite outraging Australians with a controversial new onions-before-snags policy for its iconic sausage sizzles, hardware giant Bunnings has remained of the country’s most trusted brands according to new research from Roy Morgan.
Since the last report in late August, discount supermarket Aldi and Bunnings have maintained their top two positions, and have continued to be followed by Australian airline Qantas and national broadcaster ABC.
However, carnage has ensued in the rest of the top 10, with regular top-trusted brands such as car insurer NRMA and community bank Bendigo Bank dropping two spaces each, and brands Samsung, Myer, RACQ and IGA dropping out of the top 10 entirely.
Those businesses have been replaced by Wesfarmers-owned department stores Kmart and Target, coming in at fifth and 10th place respectively, and online bank ING and car manufacturer Toyota, coming in at sixth and eighth on the list.
Roy Morgan determines a brand’s ‘trust score’ by asking nearly 1,000 Australians, unprompted, the brands they trust and distrust.
And when it comes to distrust, Australia’s big banks and superannuation companies are still clearly feeling the brunt of the ongoing royal commission, with ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac all featuring in the 10 most distrusted brands in the country.
They were joined by gas and electricity company AGL, super company AMP, supermarket Coles, telecom company Telstra and oil producer Shell. Social media company Facebook also joined the party, spurred on by over 12 months of bad press for the business in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
In a statement, Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said growing distrust can be a “disaster” for businesses, which can in some cases result in a “long slide into oblivion”.
“Trust is not just a ‘marketing’ or ‘comms’ issue — it goes to the heart of corporate culture and governance for every company,” she said.
“We have seen time and again companies making bad business decisions that don’t take into account the way people will feel about an action or policy. Whether it’s Facebook, the big banks or our major utilities, directors and their management teams need to think about the social drivers of trust and distrust — ethics, believability, integrity and transparency.”