Woolworths was the second most trusted brand during coronavirus lockdown. Picture: iStock
Woolworths was the second most trusted brand during coronavirus lockdown. Picture: iStock

Woolies’ surprising virus win

Woolworths has emerged as one of our most trusted brands during the unprecedented coronavirus lockdown despite a slew of "problems" and "failures".

Leading consumer, industry and market research company Roy Morgan has just announced the country's top 10 most trusted brand during the crisis in April - as well as those at the bottom of the list.

While the nation was in isolation, Bunnings emerged as the most trusted brand, followed by Woolworths, Qantas, Aldi, NRMA, ABC, Australia Post, Coles, Bendigo Bank and CBA.

The Roy Morgan Risk Monitor found the biggest movers this time were Qantas, which lifted two trust rankings year-on-year, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), which entered the top-10 most trusted brands for the first time since the Financial Services Royal Commission.

According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, some of the results were surprising, especially given the issues that have plagued Woolies recently.

"It's only a few weeks since we were in lockdown and desperately trying to get to the supermarkets for essentials," she said.

Bunnings has topped the most-trusted list.
Bunnings has topped the most-trusted list.

"And despite accusations of price gouging, delivery problems and supply chain failures Woolworths rode the storm best and came out really trusted by Australians.

"Woolworths was on the front foot from the outset and that appears to have resonated with Australians."

Ms Levine said it was also a "great result" for Bunnings.

"Australians just love it - even when they can't have a sausage sizzle. Bunnings keeps innovating and creating new connections with its customers. It's a global retail case study," she said.

"But Qantas and the CBA are the standout performers. Qantas was frequently in the media flying stranded Australians home from across the globe throughout the pandemic lockdown.

"And in early March Matt Comyn, CEO of the CBA, moved quickly to offer financially stressed customers loan payment relief. He had a high profile during the lockdown and that has paid dividends for the CBA's level of trust."

In terms of most trusted industries, retail came out on top followed by supermarkets and consumer products.

However, it wasn't good news for all companies, with Facebook and AMP revealed as the most distrusted brands in Australia during April 2020.

"AMP still struggles to recover from the Royal Commission fallout. We saw it leap from virtually no distrust to become the second most distrusted brand in the nation," Ms Levine said.

"As a consequence, AMP's soaring distrust saw billions of dollars withdrawn from investments under management and the company's share price plummet by more than 70 per cent.

"That's the real risk of distrust. It is not just a reputational issue, it has a material impact on a company's revenues and market value."

Originally published as Woolies' surprising virus win