Big international brands are failing to draw Australian shoppers' affections but business is booming in the luxury sector.
Australia’s top six brands match those of Asia as a whole, the only difference being that Aussies rank Nestle over Sony and LG over Panasonic. Nike comes in at seventh position, as it does in the continent overall.
After this, however, Australia displays more nationalistic tendencies. The homegrown supermarket brand Woolworths ranks eighth in the list, overtaking its rival Coles, in ninth. Local telco firm Telstra leaps from 29th to 16th position this year, while other highly ranked Aussie brands include Fisher & Paykel (27), Chemist Warehouse (30), budget airline Jetstar (34) and Gloria Jean’s coffeehouses (59).
Many of the big multinationals in the top 100 appear to have gone down in consumer estimation. Canon, the beleaguered camera firm, follows the continent-wide trend and plummets from 9th to 21st position. Heinz, Colgate and Sony Playstation all drop in popularity by roughly ten places while Amazon and Starbucks fall more than 20 spots each.
This could be evidence of a national trait Lachlan Brahe, VP Australia at ComScore, identifies as “Tall Poppy Syndrome” or “a perceived tendency to discredit or disparage those who have achieved notable wealth or prominence in public life,” as the Oxford Dictionary describes it. Simply put, agrees Marcel Wijnen, creative director at Marque Branding Consultants: “if you become too big, you lose”.
Whether or not this applies to the social media powerhouse Facebook is up for debate—but for whatever reason, the brand falls 11 places from 19 to 30 this year, even though member numbers remain steady in Australia at 17m. Twitter, which has only 19 percent of Australia’s social media users compared to Facebook’s 95 percent, suffers a far more drastic drop from 177 to 287; while Instagram slides a little from 149 to 164. Incidentally, while Snapchat does not yet rank as one of Asia’s top 1000 brands, in Australia it makes the list at 810th place this year: usage climbed from 15 to 22 percent in 2015-2016, according to the latest Sensis Social Media Report.
More positive news occurs this year in Australia’s luxury sector. Christian Dior receives a 20-place boost while Tiffany & Co., the favourite jeweller of both Australia and APAC as a whole, rises 23 places to 60th position. Ralph Lauren jumps from 78 to 53 and Gucci climbs six spots to 31st position. The luxury retail world in Australia has grown by 11 percent a year in the last five years, says IBISWorld, a trend partly attributable to tourists from China who see Australia as their first choice destination, according to hotels.com.