This is the fourth year in a row Whittaker’s has taken the title of NZ’s most loved brand. It’s also the fourth year in a row it’s been rated as Reader’s Digest’s most trusted brand, no doubt a bit more salt in Cadbury’s wounds as its ranking slipped from seventh last year to 11th this year.
However, though the All Blacks didn’t take out the top spot, the brand has jumped seven percent to be the second most loved brand for 2015.
Other most loved brands are Tip Top at number three, dropping one place from last year. Air New Zealand remains in the same spot as last year, sitting fourth while Pineapple Lumps slipped from second most loved last year to fifth this year. Edmonds jumped seven places from 14th most loved last year to seventh in 2015.
Sanitarium, Briscoes (ranked 25th last year), TVNZ (ranked 21st last year), Mainland (ranked 11th last year) and Trademe (ranked 14th last year) ranked lowest with Sanitarium at 20 (up two places from last year) and the others all ranked 17th most loved except for Trademe which is 16th.
Around the world brands that are well loved grow faster for longer, and New Zealand is no exception, Colmar Brunton chief executive officer Jacqueline Farman says
“Kiwis were clear in the survey about what qualities make brands loveable, and Whittaker’s consistently ticks all the boxes. New Zealanders want to support brands that reflect who we are, and what we value. Being Kiwi owned and operated, great value for money, trustworthy and likeable are key,” she says.
Whittaker’s delivers on all those qualities, adding further value by constantly innovating in partnership with other iconic Kiwi brands like Tip Top and L&P,” she says.
“Their combination of brand love and innovation is a sure-fire recipe for exceptional brand strength and growth. Whittaker’s has been a clear winner for the last four years by some distance, and is looking pretty much unbeatable at the moment. But if the All Blacks do win the World Cup, who knows.”
Whittaker’s topped the survey for both males and females and in the 18-29 and 50-plus age categories, however it was pipped by the All Blacks in the 30-49 age group.
Whittaker’s has successfully utilised Nigella Lawson in its ads as part of its attempt to become a world-class brand, according to The New Zealand Listener “…but she agreed to endorse the milk chocolate only after tasting to ensure it met her standards.”
In 2013, The Listener reported that Whittaker’s was on its way to leading the chocolate market holding 38 percent of chocolate tablet sales, while Cadbury’s market share was shrinking.
Farman also told the Herald Whittaker's gained cudos for sticking by its brand ambassador Nigella Lawson.
"Sticking with Nigella Lawson to front their advertising after she had some well publicised personal problems says a lot. They did not walk away from her when the chips were down and that kind of loyalty is a value Kiwis admire."
Farman says three of the biggest movers in the survey are all retailers, reflecting a return to value-led strategy in this sector. Mitre 10, New World and The Warehouse also featured in the top 10 companies for fair value in this year’s Colmar Brunton New Zealand Corporate Reputation Index.
“Expectations of fair value from kiwi companies are especially tough, but it’s not just about the price, it’s about the whole package: range, location, convenience, a great shopping experience and a clear purpose that makes you different,” she says.
“Here are three retail brands doing that well, and building strong reputations as a result. And reputation matters a lot – not only do people feel and speak more positively about brands and businesses with strong reputations, when it comes to the purchase decision, they will pay a premium for them.”
She says buying New Zealand-made is important for Kiwis, especially when buying food products, according to the survey. “Fresh fruit and veges and dairy products are where it matters most to buy New Zealand made, but we also make it a priority in other food categories such as frozen or tinned fruit and veges, and confectionery.”
The top three reasons for choosing New Zealand-made products are supporting the New Zealand economy (87 percent), supporting local producers (82 percent) and helping to keep more Kiwis in work (78 percent).
This article was originally published on StopPress.