Most Trusted Brands, 2017, revealed

The love affair between New Zealanders and Whittaker’s is both sweet and enduring.

The results of the Reader’s Digest annual Most Trusted Brands survey are out, and for the sixth consecutive year, Whittaker’s has been voted Most Trusted Brand of all brands surveyed. The family business, which has been making high-quality chocolate for more than 120 years, was also voted Most Iconic Brand, and won the confectionery category accolade too.

As one Wellingtonian male said in his survey response, Whittaker’s is “a great product, a great family business, is honest about its ingredients, and there are no packaging tricks to fool customers”. Whittaker’s “great taste, amazing flavours, and much-loved artisan collection” were applauded by a female Auckland respondent.

Other top-listing brands for 2017 are, in order: Canon, Tip Top, Edmonds, Resene, Air NZ, Mitre 10, Toyota and Sleepyhead. (Whittaker’s features first and second in the top 10 listing due to winning both the iconic, and confectionery categories).

A representative sample of 1,400 New Zealanders were surveyed by market research company Roy Morgan Research to attain the Most Trusted Brand findings. Respondents were selected to reflect the demographics of the general population and were tasked with completing an on-line questionnaire. This year, the number of New Zealanders surveyed grew by 200 compared to last year, and the categories surveyed extended from 40 to 60. The 60 categories of products and services reflected a broad range of industries.

The category winners are as follows: aged care and retirement villages, Presbyterian Support; banks, Kiwibank; beds, Sleepyhead; bicycles, Avanti; biscuits, Griffin’s; bread, Vogel’s; breakfast food, Sanitarium; cars, Toyota; car care products, CRC; car rental companies, Hertz; carpet, Cavalier Bremworth; cat food, Whiskas; charities, St John; cleaning products, Dettol; coffee machines, Breville; confectionery, Whittaker’s; crackers, Huntley & Palmers; digital cameras, Canon; DIY power tools, Stihl; dog food, Eukanuba; electronics (TV and home entertainment), Sony; fruit and herbal tea, Dilmah; garages and sleepouts, Versatile; gardening equipment, Stihl; gardening products, Yates; general insurance (home, contents, car), AA Insurance; hair care, Schwarzkopf; health insurance, Southern Cross; heat pumps, Mitsubishi Electric; home builders, GJ Gardner; home improvement stores, Mitre 10; ice cream, Tip Top; jewellers, Walker & Hall; kitchen designer and manufacturers, Kitchen Studio; laundry detergent, Persil; life insurance AA Life; marine engines, Yamaha; meat and poultry, Hellers; motorcycles, BMW; muesli and snack bars, Sanitarium; NZ wines, Oyster Bay; pain relief, Panadol; paint, Resene; pest control, Raid; petrol companies, Z; real estate agencies, Harcourts; retailer (excluding supermarkets), Farmers; skin care (anti-ageing) Nivea; small kitchen appliances, Russell Hobbs; supermarket / home brand, Pams; supermarkets, New World; tea, Dilmah; tissues, Kleenex; toddler milk formula, Karicare; tyres, Bridgestone; vacuum cleaners, Dyson; vitamins and supplements, Healtheries; whitegoods, Fisher & Paykel; and yoghurt, Fresh ‘n Fruity.

Reader’s Digest Australasian managing editor Louise Waterson says being ranked on the Trusted Brands list is a great achievement. It means a company is genuine, authentic, reliable and consistent – and only the best brands can manage this. But, being considered so trust-worthy comes with responsibilities, she adds.

“Maintaining this ranking involves a genuine commitment to protect and fulfil the promises made to the consumer,” she says.

Many of those on the 2017 Most Trusted Brands top 10 list have proven they can do exactly that, and hence are repeat performers. Brands like Toyota, Tip Top, Resene and Sleepyhead, for example, have all been A listers before.

Highly Commended ratings were also acknowledged in the survey. These are listed in the June edition of Reader’s Digest magazine.

This year marks the 18th time Reader’s Digest has commissioned its annual Trusted Brands survey. Ranking trusted brands remains as valuable an exercise as ever, it would appear. After all, consumers of today tell us the number one quality they demand of a brand is… honesty.

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