Wonder which Australian brand has the most loyal following? Wouldn’t expect it to be Hells Angels, eh?

Brand communication and marketing company, Belong, begun its BE Brands study in 2006 where it conducted over 1000 brand interviews, as well as hundreds of informal discussions based on its criteria set out in the 2006 BE Brands book.

Interestingly, the power of brands was a major factor, not just popularity. And there were a few surprises.

The Hells Angels as a brand created an amazing reaction – almost everyone interviewed envied their belonging and could predict the brand’s behaviour. It headed a top three that also included Apple and Star Wars.

World Youth Day, as a brand exercise, was in there because, according to the study, it ‘reignited Catholicism from the youth up, shifting belief from out dated theology to grounded friendship and good clean unity’.

Free Hugs was also mentioned as the study showed people universally agreed to the power of it as a brand from its ability to create behavioural change.

For Simon Hammond, Belong’s executive creative chairman, the survey is about getting to the essence of what makes brands powerful and the power is measured by the ability for a brand to influence behaviour.

“We settled on 20 brands and then rated them by measuring the three BE’s of each brand – belief, belonging and behaviour,” says Hammond.

Of the brand ‘losers’, Google appeared for not doing enough to declare its belief about ‘do no evil’, global pressure making it less than vocal. Other losers in the survey include Max Brenner, Rip Curl, Kathmandu, Nudie.

Below are the top ten brands as they appear in the survey.

1. HELLS ANGELS
2. APPLE
3. STAR WARS
4. DOVE
5. MOLESKINE
6. SMIGGLE
7. THE BODYSHOP
8. VIRGIN
9. ALANNAH HILL
10. ECKO