The Most Influential Brands in Canada are Tech Companies – but None of Them are Canadian

The top four most influential brands in Canada all have two things in common. They’re all tech companies and they’re all American, according to a new survey by polling firm Ipsos Reid released on Tuesday.

For the second year in a row Google topped the list. Facebook, which ranked fourth last year, was second. Microsoft and Apple rounded-out the top four, with both of them dropping one place. Google’s YouTube also ranked highly, coming it at number seven.

While Netflix didn’t make the top ten, the streaming video company has become much more influential over the past year, rising from 72 to 36.

“To Canadians, brands are more than just corporate logos,” said Steve Levy, Ipsos Reid’s chief operating officer, in a release. “When it comes to asking which brand is the most trustworthy, has the most presence or is most engaging—the answer can be a very personal one for many of us. This is because we increasingly identify with, relate to, and define ourselves by them—which gives brands something we can measure: influence.”

The survey, which was conducted through an online panel, asked more than 5,000 Canadian residents how they felt about 100 different bands. Among the factors included in the survey were trust, engagement and presence.

According to Ipsos Reid, when it comes to brand perception, there are big differences between generations, with younger people ranking YouTube, Pinterest and Netflix highly. Somewhat surprisingly, the slightly older “Generation X” still ranks traditional media highly, that age group gave the Weather Channel higher influence marks than their older and younger counterparts did.

Canadians don’t seem to be the only people with a fondness to large American tech brands. An Ipsos Reid survey conducted in 2012, which also surveyed people from the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and China, put the same four brands at the top.

While the global list for this year hasn’t been released yet, Levy told the Financial Post that in the markets Ipsos Reid surveyed, generally only a few local brands make the top ten.

Interestingly, the only two Canadian brands to crack the top ten are both food-related, with Tim Hortons in sixth place and President’s Choice at number eight.

So why aren’t Canadian tech companies making the list? Probably because Canada has few big consumer-facing tech companies, most of the big ones are in the business-to-business space.