Brand surveys miss the point

This week saw another brand survey hit the streets. Interbrands survey of Australia’s most “valuable” brands saw the following results:

  1. Telstra.
  2. Commonwealth Bank.
  3. NAB.
  4. Westpac.
  5. Woolworths.

Coincidentally, these companies are also top 10 ASX listed – so large size and lots of revenue equals brand value? Based on Interbrand’s description of their formula, they play a big part.

But here’s the rub. In my world, brand is the result of what you believe and what your actions show (all your actions), and yes it could be argued that revenue is also the result of those things.

However there are at least three major areas that many of these surveys don’t take into account, and which seem to be the leading cause of the “what the…?” reaction when they come out.

  • Are they trusted? (by customers, employees, partners, suppliers, etc.)
  • What is their reputation?
  • What is the perception? (remember perception doesn’t come out of a vacuum, something creates it – usually actions by the company.)

Many people say these things can’t be measured, and it’s true they can’t be measured as easily as revenue and other fiscal indicators. But last year Readers Digest did just that with a brand trust survey (which I wrote about here), so clearly it can be done.

When all these different measures come together, then a brand survey might actually be worth something. In the meantime what would your answers be to those three questions for the top five in the survey?

See you next week.



Alignment is Michel’s passion. Through her work with Brandology here in Australia, and Brand Alignment Group in the United States, she helps organisations align who they are, with what they do and say to build more authentic and sustainable brands.




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