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Afterpay and Australia Post have made it onto the list of the 40 most valuable Aussie brands — but Bunnings is still the most trusted

Business Insider Australia logo Business Insider Australia 30/08/2019 Sharon Masige

 Video provided by Sky News Australia

Commonwealth Bank tops the list of Australia's most valuable brands, but, like other Australian banks, it is among the least trusted, according to a new report.

The BrandZ Top 40 Most Valuable Australian Brands 2019 list has been released, identifying the most valuable brands in Australia. Topping the list is Commonwealth Bank, with a value of US$15.9 billion ($AU23.7 billion), followed by fellow bank ANZ and telecommunications company Telstra.

a person cooking hot dogs on a grill: Bunnings is among Australia's most valuable brands and is also the most trusted company. © Getty Bunnings is among Australia's most valuable brands and is also the most trusted company.

The list was commissioned by PR firm WPP and complied by market research company Kantar. It combined market data from Bloomberg together with insights from more than 3.7 million consumers around the world, including opinions from more than 52,000 Australian consumers on over 700 brands in 55 categories.

a screenshot of a cell phone: The top 10 most valuable brands in Australia Source: BrandZ Australia The top 10 most valuable brands in Australia Source: BrandZ Australia

The top 40 companies had a combined brand value of US$96.8 billion ($AU144.1 billion) in 2019, a five percent drop from 2018. The loss reflected a tough year for brand in many sectors, with banks and other service providers hit by falling share prices and in some cases a loss of consumer confidence, according to the report.

Banks contributed the most value to the list, with seven of them accounting for 47 percent of the ranking's overall value. But despite the banks leading the charge, they lost 13 percent of their brand value overall compared to 2018. On top of this, banks were the least trusted of any product or service category. According to the report, they are viewed as being "dishonest, uncaring and arrogant."

"Banks around the world often struggle to win consumer love, but in Australia their reputation is extremely low," the report said.

There were eight new companies on the top 40 list, with Australia Post and Afterpay joining for the first time.

Kantar Australia Executive Director Brand, Ryan France said the research highlights the importance of a strong brand for building a resilient business. In light of the new entrants to the list, France said "no-one can be complacent".

"Companies that don’t invest in developing a strong brand can easily be replaced by those that are more effective in meeting consumer needs,” he said in a statement.

The main factor that separated the best and worst performers on the list was their level of consumer trust, which is becoming more important in the age of social media.

On that note, Australia's most trusted brand was found to be Bunnings, which grew 46 percent in brand value since 2018. It was the only company on the list to grow in value by more than 10 percent.

“Bunnings is a brilliant example of the power of combining consumer trust with being highly meaningful and different to the competition," Kantar Australia Executive Director Retail and Shopper James Brown said in a statement.

“Aussie consumers do trust those brands that are highly meaningful and different to their competitors.”

Earlier this month consulting services firm PwC released the Global Top 100 companies list, with mining giant BHP the only Australian business to crack it.

Sausage sandwich anyone?

Pictures: The most valuable countries on Earth

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