Lists & Rankings

Brands we love

Canada’s Top Brands 2013

Made in Canada still means something. In our annual survey of the world’s most reputable companies, conducted by the Reputation Institute, homegrown companies are rising up the ranks, comparing more and more favourably to major multinationals. When asked which companies scored the highest by seven different criteria, Canadians ranked Tim Hortons at No. 10 this year (up from 29th last year), behind international heavyweights such as Walt Disney, Lego and Google, but ahead of big names like Honda, Apple and Amazon. Other Canadian companies such as WestJet, McCain Foods, Canadian Tire, Jean Coutu Group, Shoppers Drug Mart and Bombardier all made the Top 40.

How does a brand like Tims score so high? The survey points to community involvement, such as the Timbits hockey sponsorships and children’s foundation and camps, as the key. It’s that connection that causes those drive-through lines to snake down the street: Tims scored highest among all brands in the survey’s “citizenship” category, meaning its ties to communities have helped forge a bond stronger than a cup of coffee.

It’s that emotional bond with consumers that the Reputation Institute research aims to assess. The survey polled more than 5,000 Canadians in February and March on 100 multinational brands, as well as the 50 largest Canadian companies. Companies were rated on products and services, innovation, leadership, citizenship, performance, governance and workplace.

On the pages that follow, you’ll find the results in two lists: one that ranks Canadians’ favourite brands overall, and a second that includes only the Canadian companies. Aside from top-ranked Walt Disney Co., this year’s Top 5 most reputable companies are all new this year: Lego Group (19th in 2012), Johnson & Johnson (12th in 2012), Rolex (unranked in 2012) and Nestlé (6 in 2012). Henry Ford famously said you can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do. Here’s how Canadians rank the world’s best brands based on what they’ve actually done.

Mighty mouse

Mighty mouse

Disney is so good at pleasing customers (and employees) it’s now teaching others its secrets


WestJet: Friendly skies and then some

WestJet’s guest-friendly service makes it more loved than Apple


McCain Foods: An old favourite freshens up

Do Canadians love what McCain Foods has always been—or what it’s becoming?


Missing in Action: Detroit’s Big Three

American car manufacturers appear to be on the rebound Motown’s famous three still haven’t escaped the pall of the recession.


What Canadian Want (Besides a great product)

After factoring in the quality of a company’s products and services, citizenship and governance are the next biggest influences.


Snobby or sincere? Some brands speak volumes

Strong brands typically have strong personalities. Here are some of the personality attributes that consumers ascribed to companies in our survey—for better and for worse.