Ipsos announces seventh annual Top 10 Most Influential Brands in Canada

Google retains top spot for sixth year, rankings shift and Netflix enters Top 10

The author(s)
  • Elen Alexov Vice President, Marketing, North America
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Toronto, ON — The Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and The Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA) in partnership with Ipsos today unveiled the Top 10 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 at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto with almost 300 Marketers in attendance. The 2017 Most Influential Brands study was conducted in 17 countries and evaluates 100+ brands in each country and ranks their influence. Steve Levy, COO at Ipsos announced the ranking, discussing how this year’s brands achieved their status and why brands are influential.

Most Influential Brands in Canada 2017

  1. Google (–)
  2. Facebook (–)
  3. Apple (+1)
  4. Amazon (+1)
  5. Microsoft (-2)
  6. YouTube (–)
  7. Walmart (–)
  8. Visa (–)
  9. Netflix (+4) — new to the top 10
  10. Samsung (+6) — new to the top 10

“Our study measures and ranks today’s most influential brands, why they are leading, which generations they influence most, how they impact us and what makes them influential,” explained Mr. Levy. “Visionary brands continue to be founded on a sense of purpose that establishes stronger emotional connections.”

This year we saw a new entrant in the Top Ten – Netflix and the return of Samsung after the Samsung Galaxy 7 problems in 2016. Mr. Levy commented that “brands that have experienced challenges, like Samsung, can and do bounce back if they focus on addressing the right issues.”

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. The study ranks brands according to their influence; this year’s study polled a representative sample of over 6,000 Canadians and more than 35,000 citizens worldwide. Survey findings were analyzed geographically, by gender and across generations including Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.

Study Highlights

Although the Top 10 brands have remained relatively stable over the past seven years, technology-focused companies are rising to the top as social media drives brand influence, underscoring that influence takes time to build. 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 reaction to 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 sixth consecutive year, in part by beefing up its hardware business and using its household name to branch out into new products. Facebook remained stable at No. 2, catering to customer preferences by expanding its offerings and researching emerging technologies. While pushing tech boundaries and exploring new horizons, Apple is at No. 3. Amazon continues to grow its influence and now is No. 4. Microsoft moved down two ranks to No. 5. As it rides the mobile tsunami, YouTube stays at No. 6. Walmart remains a consistent Top Ten Brand remaining in spot No. 7, while Visa, perceived as ubiquitous and security-focused, stays at No. 8. Netflix makes its debut in the top 10 at No. 9. Samsung re-enters the Top 10 at No. 10 after a short hiatus last year.

Several differences were found to exist by generation; it is useful to understand how brands impact generations so marketers can deliver products and services that cater to generational tastes. Despite varying attitudes and inclination, 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 YouTube, Netflix, Apple and Facebook are their brands of choice. Similarly, the digital age defines Millennials who love brands like Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon. Gen X are comfortable melding offline and online worlds, as fans of tech pioneers (Apple and Microsoft), are value-conscious (Walmart) and convenience shoppers (Amazon and Pay Pal). Boomers gravitate to technologies and brands they grew up with and while they have adopted search technology such as Google, also prefer traditional sources such as CBC and Canada Post and are loyal to stalwart brands, being influenced by Visa, Walmart and MasterCard.

“While each brand must discover its secret sauce to success, those that deliver on trustworthiness, engagement, leading edge, corporate citizenship and presence will undoubtedly exert influence,” continued Mr. Levy.

“The influence that brands can have is a constantly evolving narrative. The need to be genuine and true is more important than ever, in essence, brand trust must be the driving factor in messaging and activation for all businesses,” said Scott Knox, President & CEO of the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA), “It has been interesting being part of the Most Influential Brands initiative over the past few years, I predict a lot of this will change in the next few.”

“Every marketer these days is laser-focused on generating stronger connections to their customers and earning a meaningful place in their busy lives. These brands do that incredibly well,” said Ron Lund of the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA). “ACA supports this program because it is not only a celebration of the brands on the list but a means to identify and share greatness, and to set new standards and benchmarks that move the whole industry forward.”

About the Study

The Most Influential Brands study was conducted in January 2018. The online survey of 6,000 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. For more information please visit: 

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Steve Levy
Chief Operating Officer, Canada
+1 416 324-2107
[email protected]

About Ipsos in Canada

Ipsos is Canada’s market intelligence leader, the country’s leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos employs more than 500 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos in Canada offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications.

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.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

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.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

About ICA

The Institute of Communication Agencies is the professional business association which represents Canada’s communication and advertising agencies. The ICA’s mission is to transform, amplify and protect; as such, the ICA promotes thought leadership, higher standards and best practices. It serves as the largest source of information, advice, education and training for Canada’s communication and advertising industry. ICA’s member agencies and subsidiaries account for over 75 per cent of all national advertising in Canada, with an economic impact worth more than $19 billion annually. More information about the ICA and its initiatives can be found at www.icacanada.ca, on Twitter @icacanada or Facebook.

About The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail, founded in 1844, is Canada’s foremost news media company. Each day, The Globe leads the national discussion by engaging Canadians through its award-winning coverage of news, politics, business, investing and lifestyle topics, across multiple platforms. The Globe and Mail print and digital formats reach 6.5 million readers every week, with Report on Business magazine reaching 1.6 million readers every issue in print and digital. The Globe and Mail is owned by Woodbridge, the investment arm of the Thomson family. For more information about The Globe and Mail, please contact Lanna Crucefix, Communications Manager, The Globe and Mail, [email protected], 416-585-5867

About the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA)

ACA is the independent voice of Canadian marketers and the champion of a fair and transparent marketplace. A national not-for-profit association, it speaks on behalf of more than 200 companies and divisions. 2017 marked 100 years since ACA was incorporated as an association. For more information, visit www.acaweb.ca. For more information, please contact: Jessica Yared, Digital Marketing Manager, [email protected] / 416-964-3805 ext. 1006.

The author(s)
  • Elen Alexov Vice President, Marketing, North America

Consumer & Shopper