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Bunnings Most Trusted And Optus Most Distrusted Brand In Oz

In the 12 months to March 2024, hardware giant Bunnings retained its spot as Australia’s most trusted brand, while telecom operator Optus landed itself at the top of the list of the most distrusted brands in the country for the third consecutive quarter.

In a major setback for Woolworths, it plunged from second spot in the last report, down 32 places to 34th most trusted brand overall.

Rival major supermarket brand Coles meanwhile also continued its decline down from the fifth most trusted brand in the 12 months to December 2023 to the ninth most distrusted brand in the current rankings – a dramatic fall of 221 places in the rankings.

However, not all supermarkets faced the fate of Woolworths and Coles, with Aldi climbing to the position of Australia’s second most trusted brand, just ahead of Kmart in third place according to the latest rankings.

The biggest gainers to make their way into the top 20 is Australia Post which improved four spots to rank sixth, just outside the top five behind tech giant Apple and car manufacturer Toyota.


Australia's Most Trusted Brands in the 12 months to March 2024

Australia’s Most Trusted Brands in the 12 months to March 2024

Within the top 20, the three brands to show the most impressive results, by increasing by three spots each, are JB Hi-Fi (11th), Commonwealth Bank (16th) and RAC (17th).

Also, five brands have increased their rankings by two places, led by Bendigo Bank (13th), IGA (14th), ABC (15th) and the new entrants to the top twenty most trusted brands: David Jones (19th) and RACQ (20th).

The findings are a part of the Roy Morgan Risk Monitor which surveys approximately 2,000 Australians every month.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, “The fate of Woolworths and Coles reveals how quickly distrust can gain momentum and negatively impact a brand’s reputation. There’s an old Dutch saying that trust arrives on foot but leaves on horseback. In other words, trust is slow to win but quick to lose.

“The results serve as a salutary reminder for Bunnings which has retained high levels of trust based on extensive goodwill and reputational strength combined with a fairly stable, and minimal, level of distrust.”

Australian distrust for companies has grown significantly in the last year as cost-of-living concerns and high inflation, with a recent supermarket senate enquiry investigating whether some supermarkets indulged in excessive price hikes and failed to put their customer first.

Australia's Most Distrusted Brands in the 12 months to March 2024

Australia’s Most Distrusted Brands in the 12 months to March 2024

However, more than supermarkets, telecom company Optus remained as the number one most distrusted brand in Australia in the latest ranking. It is followed by Facebook/Meta, Qantas, Telstra and News Corp.

Other brands including Amazon (6th) and X (formerly Twitter) (7th) were also among the top 10 most distrusted brands in Oz.

New entrants to the 20 most distrusted brands in Australia are Temu, deteriorating from 28th most distrusted to 18th most distrusted, and Tesla which went from 24th to 17th position. However, the second biggest slider during the March quarter was NAB (29th), after deteriorating by 42 spots.

Levine noted that Temu is attracting increasing criticism, “The ultra-cheap Chinese-based online retailer Temu is attracting a fair share of negative criticism after bursting onto the Australian retail scene recently with accusations that ‘their pictures are not what you get’, ‘their products seem dodgy and of poor quality,’ ‘they collect the data of their customers,’ ‘they’re an organisation full of scammers’ and that the low prices means they must be ‘underpaying staff.’ ”

However, there were brands that bettered their reputational standing within the country. Among them were Medibank (11th) and Jetstar (19th) which both improved by five spots, whereas PWC (20th), improved four places, and Shell (16th) bettered itself by three positions.

The report cited that the overall increase in distrust of brands is driven by their perception of their focus on corporate profits and not putting customers first, as well as widespread price gouging especially by big banks and the major supermarkets.

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