TORONTO – It looks like exploding smartphones have lit Samsung Electronics Ltd.’s brand reputation on fire.

The Canadian arm of market research firm Ipsos Group S.A. has released its annual list of Canada’s most influential brands, which COO Steve Levy presented on Jan. 31 during ICA’s FFWD Advertising & Marketing Week in Toronto, and once again, tech companies lead the way.

Google Inc. takes the top spot for the fifth year in a row, followed by Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Apple Inc. respectively. The four tech giants have controlled the top four for the third year running. Rounding out the top five is Amazon, which made the top 10 for the first time in 2015, placing at number nine.

In all, seven of the 10 most influential brands were tech-related.

In addition to Amazon’s continued rise, the other item worth noting is the absence of Samsung. The phone manufacturer hung around the bottom 10 the last few years, only to drop to 16th on the list in 2016. It would appear that having a flagship smartphone mass recalled due to its (*ahem*) explosive power, does indeed negatively affect a brand.

“It is difficult to build influence, even for brands that are extremely influential. But it’s very easy to lose,” said Levy during his presentation. Samsung may be the perfect example.

To capture a brand’s influence, Ipsos asked survey respondents 11 questions that ranged from “is this brand relevant to my life?,” to “has the brand had an impact on the way you interact with people?,” to “is the brand a part of my everyday language?”.

The 10 most influential brands of 2016 in Canada are as follows:

  1. Google (Last year: 1)
  2. Facebook (Last year: 4)
  3. Microsoft (Last year: 3)
  4. Apple (Last year: 2)
  5. Amazon (Last year: 9)
  6. YouTube (Last year: 5)
  7. Walmart (Last year: 7)
  8. Visa (Last year: 6)
  9. Tim Hortons (Last year: 8)
  10. CBC (Last year: 11)

For the first time, Ipsos included the youngest generation in the survey, Generation Z. For Ipsos, Gen Z covers the ages 13-21. The inclusion of Gen Z notably bumped up Instagram, which jumped from 47 to 39.

In the survey, Ipsos also releases the top 10 by generation, gender, and region. Notable brands for Gen Z and Millennials are Netflix, Snapchat, and Twitter. Boomers on the other hand placed CBC as high as number four in its top 10, showing the oldest generation’s staying power as CBC cracked the top 10 in 2016. Interestingly, Millennials ranked CBC higher than Gen X.

You can take a look at the full survey released on the Ipsos website.

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