Results of an Ipsos Reid / Institute of Communication Agency poll indicates Canadians are heavily influenced by Internet and Tech companies. Five of their top 10 choices fell into these categories, including the top four. That’s fabulous news for existing Canadian web-based businesses and future ‘netpreneurs’.
5014 Canadians participated in the study in 2012, and the results were released in February, 2013. The list of the most influential brands in Canada was compiled based on five factors: engagement, corporate citizenship, leading edge, great presence, and trustworthiness. Each factor plays a different role in their level of influence, in that a driver for one brand may not be a driver for another.
“Brands have meaning, personality, and attitude. And because people so often identify with, relate to, and define themselves by them, brands have influence,” said Steve Levy, president, Ipsos Reid. “For a brand to succeed, it has to reach its audience, connect with them, and get them to buy into the brand’s promise. But for a brand to have real influence it needs to win on the crucial dimensions we identified — trustworthiness, engagement, leading edge, presence, and corporate citizenship. Google is this year’s leading example — not only in Canada but on the world stage.”
A study of other countries allowed for a comparison between worldwide preferences and those of Canadians. It demonstrated that while Canadians are influenced by international brands, we are also influenced by Canadian brands. International competition is always a concern for Internet businesses in Canada, but being Canadian doesn’t exclude us from the race. Instead, it can give us a competitive edge.
Shown with comparisons to the previous year’s survey, the brands that made it into the top ten most influential in Canada are:
- Google (up 1)
- Microsoft (down 1)
- Apple (up 1)
- Facebook (up 3)
- WalMart (Same)
- Visa (up 2)
- YouTube (up 2)
- Tim Hortons (up 7)
- AirMiles (up 2)
- CBC (down 4)
Two other brands made a huge leap this year, with the Bank of Montreal (BMO) jumping 50 spots into 44th place, and Samsung jumping 29 spots into 18th place.
While most of us will never see the top 10, we can still learn how to build our online consumer influence from these brands. The study proved that all the top ten brands in Canada have excelled at building influence and driving preference in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Study them by visiting their website, signing up for their newsletter, and following them on social media. Try to identify the five dimensions (engagement, corporate citizenship, leading edge, great presence, and trustworthiness) in each brand, and determine which factors drive their success most. Then, make the same evaluation of other successful websites in your niche and beyond. Training yourself to think this way will help you increase the influence of your own brand.
“Digital platforms and channels have not only fueled consumer empowerment, but to a large degree democratized communications. The biggest spend does not equate to the biggest impact and influence,” said Andrew Bruce, Chair, FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week 2013 and CEO, Publicis. “Understanding more intimately how future forward brands are creating influence will provide a sneak peak at today’s power houses and tomorrow’s challengers.”
The online survey of 5,014 adult residents of Canada was conducted between October 25th and November 6th, 2012. Weighted to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population. Accuracy within +/- 1.6 percentage points had all Canadian adults been surveyed.
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