THE brands that have earned the highest levels of trust among Malaysians were announced at the 2013 Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Awards in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Honouring the very best brands in Malaysia and in the region, the winners were chosen based on an annual survey by the magazine.
“The true test of success for a brand is whether it can earn and keep the trust of consumers over time,” said Reader’s Digest managing director for Asia Pacific Walter Beyleveldt.
“Winning a Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands award is the ultimate seal of consumer approval. These winning brands are the first choices of consumers — they have proven their trustworthiness and commitment to quality, value, innovation, social responsibility and satisfying consumers’ everyday needs.”
“For 15 years, the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey has set the standard for objective measurement of consumers’ brand preferences in Asia through a simple technique — asking individuals consumers which brands they trust the most.
“Because the results are based entirely on consumer voting, and are compiled in a transparent and statistically reliable manner, they are accepted and trusted by consumers and marketers across Asia.
“In Malaysia, for example, 88% of our survey respondents say they are more likely to trust, purchase or recommend a product to others if it has been named as a Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand.”
The guest-of-honour at the awards held at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur was Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
“Made in Malaysia” brands, which enjoy strong popularity among consumers, won in 22 categories — half the survey.
There were a total of 107 winners — 16 taking the Platinum award (the highest ranking) and 91 taking the Gold award.
In the finance sector, Maybank earned double Platinum honours as the most trusted brand in the categories of bank and credit card -issuing bank, while Public Bank won Gold awards in both categories.
CIMB and Citibank earned Gold recognition as credit card-issuing banks. Bank Islam was the Platinum choice for Islamic financial services.
Making an investment requires long-term trust and successfully rising to the challenge were Public Mutual (Platinum winner), while Amanah Saham Bumiputera/ Amanah Saham Nasional were also the preferred brands among investment fund companies.
To provide consumers and their families with financial protection in times of crisis, the most trusted life insurers were AIA, Great Eastern and Prudential.
Staying in touch in this age of social media has never been more convenient. Making those connections possible, Maxis took a Platinum in the phone and broadband service category, while DiGi and TM achieved Gold honours.
Meanwhile, iPhone, Nokia, and Samsung were ranked most trusted for smartphones while Acer, Dell and HP/Compaq were the most preferred personal computer brands.
Several awards were bagged in the field of education.
SEGi University, Sunway University and Taylor’s University stood at the head of the class as the most trusted private universities.
In the category of public universities, the most respected institutions were Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi MARA.
Among the children’s education centres, Smart Reader Kids and Tabika Kemas shared the honours.
Buying a new property is a mark of trust by the homeowner and winning that confidence were Sime Darby Property and SP Setia.
In healthcare, Malaysians were found to often turn to KPJ Healthcare and Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur as their most trusted private hospitals.
As far as airfreight/courier service is concerned, DHL and PosLaju were the carriers most trusted.
And to write those letters and messages especially well, consumers opted for Faber-Castell and Stabilo pencils, and pens by Faber-Castell, Kilometrico, Parker and Pilot.
At makan time, Malaysians preferred the menus at KFC and McDonald’s to those at other family restaurants.
To travel from place to place, consumers chose Honda, Proton and Toyota, while their favourite tyre manufacturers were Dunlop, Goodyear and Michelin for a smooth and safe ride.
And when it comes to refuelling their vehicles, Petronas and Shell were the obvious choices.
In the consumer electronic sector, international brands clearly dominated.
Double Platinum winner Canon earned top honours in the camera and multi-function printer/copier categories, while Nikon and Sony were the Gold winners for cameras.
For flatscreen TV, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony bagged the Gold award.
For fast relief from hot weather, Malaysians trusted Panasonic and York air-conditioners, and it was Dunlopillo (Platinum), Dreamland, King Koil and Vono mattresses for a good night’s sleep.
In the categories of refrigerator and washing machine, Panasonic earned Platinum honours, while Samsung and Toshiba won Gold.
Amway eSpring and Diamond emerged as as the most trusted names in water purifiers, while Ogawa and Osim took top honours for their massage chairs.
To ensure their homes are decorated in line with latest trends, consumers preferred White Horse (Platinum) floor and wall tiles, while Dulux and Nippon Paint were the choices for a fresh coat.
In men’s wear, consumers looked first for Levi’s and Polo.
To give their clothes a thorough clean, Breeze, Dynamo and Top laundry detergents were trusted more than any other brands.
Meanwhile, Dettol and Lux were the most trusted for body wash.
Hungry Malaysians were found to look to Jasmine (Platinum), Cap Rambutan and Jati/ ecoBrown’s as their most preferred brands of rice. Knife (Platinum), Buruh and Seri Murni were the cooking oils they chose most for tasty meals.
To quench their thirst, the top choices were Marigold Peel Fresh, Sunkist and Tropicana for juices, and Spritzer (Platinum), F&N and Sea Master for bottled water.
And it was Jacob’s and Julie’s at snack time.
When enjoying a social occasion with friends, consumers turned to Carlsberg and Tiger as the nation’s most trusted beers, while Chivas, Hennessy, Johnnie Walker and Martell were named in the cognac/whisky category.
Finally, for their overall health and fitness, consumers were found to prefer vitamins and health supplements from Amway Nutrilite (Platinum), 21stCentury and Appeton.