Ipsos announces tenth annual Top 10 Most Influential Brands in Canada

Google retains top spot for 9th year, YouTube climbs to third, and Canadian-grown PC Optimum enters the top 10.

The author(s)
  • Steve Levy Ipsos Canada
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Toronto, ON, February 2, 2021 — The Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and Ipsos, in partnership with Publicis unveiled today the Ipsos Most Influential Brands in Canada – a comprehensive study measuring and ranking today’s brands in Canada and the world – at an exclusive event hosted by The Globe and Mail, and held virtually with almost 1000 marketing professionals in attendance . The 2020 Most Influential Brands study was conducted in 13 markets and evaluates 100+ brands in each market and ranks their influence. Steve Levy from Ipsos announced the ranking, discussing how this year’s brands achieved their status and why brands are influential.

Most Influential Brands in Canada 2020

1.  Google (-)

2.  Amazon (-)

3.  YouTube (+3)

4.  Apple (+1)

5.  Facebook (-3)

6.  Netflix (+1)

7.  Visa (+3)

8.  Microsoft (-4)

9.  Walmart (-)

10. PC Optimum (+2) new to the top 10

 “They are dominant, persuasive, important and prominent.  They are Canada’s most influential brands. They go beyond simply being a brand, as they possess the exceptional ability to connect with Canadian consumers,” explained Mr. Levy. “This connection allows them to occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of the public and in turn, the marketplace, because our trust in them allows them to influence how we live, work and play.”

This year a Canadian brand joined the top ten - PC Optimum. Mr. Levy commented that “unlike other years, caring for consumers became a higher priority than it’s ever been, and PC Optimum delivered there, connecting Canadians to the things they need most”.

The Most Influential Brands study examines five key dimensions that drive the most influential brands in Canada: trustworthiness, presence, being leading edge, corporate citizenship and engagement. With the unprecedented shift in consumer behaviour driven by COVID-19, a sixth dimension was added – COVID which reflected the help, sincerity and caring that some brands demonstrated. The study ranks brands according to their influence; this year’s study polled a representative sample of over 6,000 Canadians and more than 27,800 citizens worldwide. Survey findings were analyzed geographically, by gender and across generations including Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.

Study highlights

While the Top 10 brands have remained relatively stable over the past ten years, those that are technology-focused continue to be very influential.  Influence continues to be a factor that takes time to build, is hard to get and relatively easy to lose. To the extent that there were changes this year, they were likely driven by the fact that Canadians are watching more, buying more (online) and seeking help and comfort more from their couch. The rankings continue to be a combination of digital service/social media, technology, retail and credit card brands. The one factor that many of these have in common is the frequency with which they are used, which results in them being firmly entrenched in day to day life. The most influential brands are important and relevant; consumers identify with and have an emotional relationship with these brands and couldn’t imagine living their life without them.  

Google – the world’s most popular Internet search site - ranks No. 1 for the 9th consecutive year, driven by increased hardware offerings and being helpful with Assistant. Amazon retained its No. 2 ranking, while tightening the gap to Google. Not surprisingly in the year of COVID, YouTube rose three positions to No. 3, undoubtedly driven by the increased time spent inside, and consequently, online. Apple gained one position rising to No. 4. Facebook slid to No. 5 in 2020, losing some momentum seen in 2019. Netflix, continues gaining ground in 2020, rising to No. 6 this year, it has moved up one position each year since debuting in the top ten in 2017. Visa reclaimed position No. 7 this year, returning to its 2018 standing. Declining four positions, Microsoft now occupies the No. 8 position. Walmart remained stable, ranking No. 9, for the third year in a row. In many respects it is a “special” achievement when a Canadian brand secures a top ten spot as PC Optimum did in 2020 coming in at No. 10.  This is largely because Canadian brands don’t have the scale/scope and access to capital that global brands have available.

Several differences were found to exist by generation; it is important to understand how brands impact generations, so marketers can deliver products and services that cater to generational tastes. Despite varying attitudes and inclinations, Google takes a clean sweep for influence across Gen Z, Millennials, Generation X and Boomers.

Generation Z comes of age in a time of political and economic turbulence and for whom technology is paramount. Technology brands such as Instagram, Spotify and Snapchat are among the most influential brands for this generation, ranking No. 3, No. 7 and No. 10 respectively. Similarly, the digital age defines Millennials who love brands like Google, Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube. Gen X are comfortable melding offline and online worlds, as Amazon and Apple rank highly, along with PC Optimum and Walmart. Boomers gravitate to technologies and brands they grew up with and while they have adopted search technology such as Google, they also prefer traditional brands such as Canada Post and Canadian Tire. They are also more influenced by credit card brands such as Visa and MasterCard. Meet Canada’s Top 10 Most Influential Brands and learn the secret to their success by reading Ipsos’ new POV.

Brett McIntosh, President of Publicis Toronto, made the point that ‘brands that step forward with a commitment to help consumers in a meaningful way that is aligned with their brand’s DNA have a better opportunity to influence behaviour. 2020 was another giant step forward in this respect.’   

 “A year like no other, 2020 rewarded brands that could successfully connect with customers, build trust and engage us through this difficult time.” said Ron Lund, President & CEO, Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA). “I’m pleased that ACA is able to contribute to an event that celebrates brands for their determination in making those meaningful connections with their customers.”

About the Study

The Most Influential Brands study was conducted in October 2020. The online survey of 6,700 Canadians was conducted using the Ipsos iSay Panel. The results are based on a sample where weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects Canada’s adult population according to Census data and results approximated the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval, accurate within +/- 1.3 percentage points, had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Subscriptions to the study are available. Contact Steve Levy ([email protected]) for details.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

For more information, visuals, or to arrange an interview with an Ipsos spokesperson, please contact:

Steve Levy,
416 324-2107
[email protected]

About The Globe Media Group

The Globe Media Group is the advertising arm of The Globe and Mail, Canada’s top publisher. It offers an expanded portfolio of products and services, built on the same values and integrity of The Globe and Mail and designed for a modern 360° marketing experience. Through the Globe Media Group, advertisers can connect with 21 million Canadians monthly through The Globe and Mail newspaper print and digital properties, Globe Alliance Network, programmatic display, custom content, and Globe events. Learn more about the Globe Media Group at globemediagroup.ca.

For more information about The Globe and Mail, please contact:

Lanna Crucefix
Communications Manager, The Globe and Mail
[email protected]

About Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA)

ACA is the independent voice of Canadian marketers speaking on behalf of more than 200 companies and divisions. The ACA is the go-to organization for client marketers, helping our members maximize their MarCom and brand ROI. This unique position enables us to act solely in the marketer’s best interests by championing a fair, accountable and transparent marketplace; providing insight and best practices, and; facilitating professional development and networking. For more information, visit www.acaweb.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Jessica Yared
Digital Marketing Manager, ACA
[email protected]

About Publicis Canada

Publicis Canada is one of the largest and leading communications groups in the country with over 585 employees. At Publicis, we all share a common ambition: to help our clients and their brands be and remain the leaders they want to be. Publicis Canada is part of Publicis Worldwide, one of the three worldwide advertising networks within the Publicis Groupe SA.

For more information, please contact:

Brett McIntosh
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP


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The author(s)
  • Steve Levy Ipsos Canada