SYDNEY: Google has again topped a list of the most influential brands in Australia, while Woolworths emerged as the most influential local brand.

A study by polling organisation Ipsos looked at 100 brands in Australia and ranked them on their level of influence based on five factors: engagement, trustworthiness, leading edge, corporate citizenship and presence. This was complemented with an online survey of 1,000 Australians.

IT and tech brands featured prominently, with eBay, Microsoft and Facebook following Google in the top four places.

"Australians are practical," said Andrew Wynne, director at Joy Advertising, in remarks reported by AdNews. "The brands that they see as influential are the ones they are using a lot every day."

In a similar vein, local supermarket chain Woolworths was in fifth place, with rival Coles in tenth.

In between, in eighth, was Bunnings, the Australian home improvements retailer, and Gillian O'Sullivan, Ipsos marketing managing director, highlighted its approach as typifying the most influential brands.

"Bunnings has a strong philosophy that it's part of the community and makes a lot of investment in grassroots – and that's really important," she said.

Three more tech brands – Apple, Samsung and YouTube – rounded out the top ten.

O'Sullivan elaborated on the concept of influence, arguing that "a brand needs to impact or change the way people shop, think, act and behave – it needs to become a fundamental part of life, shape consumers' desires and help consumers get through their day".

And that is a process that can never stop. "This year's study shows just how quickly consumer attitudes towards brands can change," she noted. "There were some significant moves up and down in brand influence rankings, and the worst hit were the more established brands."

O'Sullivan urged brand custodians to look beyond their own sectors to gain a better understanding of how they might gain more influence.

"The means of achieving influence varies greatly demonstrating that there isn't any 'one size fits all' solution," she stated.

Data sourced from CMO Australia, Ad News; additional content by Warc staff