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Survey finds Google is Australia’s most trusted brand

SmartCompany /

Internet blog sites are on the nose, but Google is the most trusted brand in Australia. And while trust in large corporations is declining, established brands are becoming more trustworthy, according to the new Eye on Australia report by Sweeney Research and ad agency Grey.

The survey, which is in its 17th year, examined the consumer attitudes and sentiment of 9256 respondents. Simon Rich, director of planning at Grey, says the survey was released when the credit crisis was well under way. “Yet we’ve seen the highest level of satisfaction with life since Eye on Australia commenced in 1992. Overall, Australians are happy about high employment figures and in the meantime are putting faith in the new Government to follow through on the promises they’ve made.”

The survey shows that our trust in large companies is declining as we place increasing value on genuine honesty. About 91% of respondents claim they would trust a company that admits it has made a mistake. “The message is that people have become more cynical, however brands still offer higher levels of trust than a company name – 47% of respondents claim established brands are more trustworthy compared to 23% who agree they trust big companies.”

In 2008, Google ranked as the most trusted brand along with the police force. Rich says he was very surprised as he had never seen a brand come from nowhere (it wasn’t even included in the survey last year) to number one.

“Google represents the freedom the internet has given us. It is straight forward and seen as impartial; it delivers the answers consumers ask for.”

Book stores, the ABC and Australia Post are among consumer’s most trusted organisations.

However, internet blog sites suffered a big fall in trust. “When blogs came along they were exciting and fun, but now many people realise many are just junk,” he says. “Company experts (8%) are now seen as a more reliable source of information.”

On the internet:

  • 15% of consumers trusted blogs as a source of information in 2007; down to 4% in 2008.
  • 42% of Gen-Ys use social networking sites often or very often when surfing the internet.
  • 38% of pre baby boomers (those aged 63 or over in 2008) spend two hours a day or more online compared to 26% of Gen-Y.)

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