Top Brand

Our Top Brand awards help you recognise the best brands for different product categories.

Consumer NZ Top Brand.

What is Top Brand?

Our Top Brand awards recognise brands that perform strongly across an entire product category, such as televisions or vacuum cleaners.

Awards are based our independent lab testing and member surveys of product reliability and owner satisfaction.

Our criteria

A brand gets a Top Brand award if it makes products that work well, last a long time, and have happy owners. An award doesn’t mean every product from that brand will be a star, but you’re more likely to find a winner.

We calculate awards for product categories (such as “refrigeration”). We place equal weight on our independent lab testing and member surveys of product reliability and owner satisfaction. Test scores are included for all models that have been through our lab and have been on sale in the previous 12 months. Brand reliability and satisfaction results come from our latest member survey.

A brand must have at least three tested models and 30 responses in our survey to be eligible for the award. Then, it must be clearly ahead of the others and perform strongly across all three measures. For categories with no clear winners or no brands that meet our benchmark, we won’t award Top Brand.

Our licence programme

A Top Brand licence is available to any brand that has been awarded Top Brand status. A licence enables a brand to use the award in its advertising and promotion alongside relevant products.

The list of manufacturers and distributors that hold a current licence to use the Top Brand endorsement in advertising and promotional activities is available below and is published in Consumer magazine.

Example of Top Brand logos with the name of an awarded company.

All applications of the endorsement brandmark are approved by Consumer NZ prior to use and meet our brand usage guidelines.

Licensed brands

The following brands are licensed to use their Top Brand award in their marketing and promotion for the products below. Their licence fees help us maintain our research, testing and advocacy work to protect and empower Kiwi consumers. Any concerns about the use of the Top brand logo should be sent to info@consumer.org.nz.

Breville - Espresso machines and toasters
Dyson - Stick vacuum cleaners
OPPO - Mobile phones
STIHL - Lawnmowers
Sunbeam - Kitchen cookers and kettles
Weber - Barbecues

FAQs for consumers

How does the licence programme work?

Brands awarded Top Brand status are eligible to purchase a non-exclusive licence to use the Top Brand award brandmark in their advertising and promotion. Top Brand is awarded annually.

Why was the Top Brand licence programme developed?

The licence programme was launched to recognise excellence by enabling brands to advertise and promote that they have been awarded People’s Choice status. Many companies already refer to our research. However, the references are sometimes incorrect, out-of-date or without our permission. A licensing arrangement allows us to more effectively manage this.

How does this affect Consumer’s independence?

Our independence is what sets us apart from other organisations. We select products for testing based on market research. Brands that have received awards and/or have purchased a licence have no involvement in our testing programme.

Consumer NZ reserves the right to withdraw a Top Brand award from a product if appropriate.

How is the income from the licence programme used?

Our work is funded by member fees, revenue from the Consumer Recommends, Top Brand and People’s Choice licence programmes, the Consumer Trusted accreditation programme and contract work, mostly with government departments. All revenue from our licence programme is used to increase the scope of our research, testing and advocacy work.

How do I know what products are licensed to use the brandmark?

If you are concerned about a product being promoted without a licence, feel the award brandmark is being used in a confusing manner or wish to ask any questions about the programme, please email us on info@consumer.org.nz.

FAQs for businesses

What are the benefits of the licence programme?

Top Brand status is awarded to brands that perform strongly across an entire product category, such as televisions or vacuum cleaners. Brands must perform strongly in product test results as well as in overall satisfaction and reliability from Consumer NZ member surveys. The licence programme allows you to celebrate this and communicate it to your customers and retailer network.

A licence allows you to use the Top Brand brandmark in a variety of ways – print, online, TV, radio, point of sale, packaging and other advertising, and promotion executions approved by Consumer NZ.

How much does a licence cost?

Please contact Karen McDonald, Head of Business Development - karen@consumer.org.nz.

What is the duration of a licence?

Top Brand is awarded annually. The period of the licence will usually be 12 months.

Are there any restrictions around being granted a licence?

Licences will only be granted when the Top Brand status is current. Eligibility for a licence is at the discretion of Consumer NZ.

How do I apply for a licence?

Once Top Brand status has been awarded to your product, you will be notified by Consumer NZ. Or you can contact Karen McDonald, Head of Business Development - karen@consumer.org.nz.

What is the licence process?

  • You are a manufacturer, distributor or service provider whose brand(s) have been awarded Top Brand status.
  • You notify Consumer NZ you wish to buy a licence.
  • The date of commencement for the licence period is agreed.
  • The contract is drawn up and sent out with your award brandmark files.
  • Your promotional material is submitted for approval to Consumer NZ.
  • Your endorsement fee is paid and your licence period commences.

Do I need to check with Consumer NZ before I use the Top Brand brandmark in my advertising and marketing material?

All use of the award brandmark must be approved by Consumer NZ prior to use.

Can we use text or quote an article alongside the Top Brand brandmark?

The licensee can use limited excerpts from Consumer reports relating to the brand and category in which they have been awarded top brand in their advertising and promotion. All excerpts must be approved by Consumer NZ before publication.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can use the Top Brand brandmark?

There is no limit as long as it is used in accordance with the criteria outlined within the licence agreement and is approved by Consumer NZ prior to use.

Can I submit my product to be tested?

We select products for testing based on market research. We do not accept free or discounted products from businesses or manufacturers for testing. We do like to keep up to date with what is happening in the marketplace, so if you have a new product or service you think we might be interested in, please email info@consumer.org.nz. Your email will be forwarded to our Research and Testing team.

Who should I contact for more information?

If you wish to discuss the Top Brand licence programme further, please contact:

Karen McDonald, Head of Business Development - karen@consumer.org.nz.

Our licence programmes

Our licence programmes

Consumer NZ licence programmes.

Our licence programmes

We award Consumer Recommends, People’s Choice and Top Brand based on our independent lab testing and member surveys of product reliability and owner satisfaction. We also assess and accredit businesses as Consumer Trusted if they meet our strict criteria. A licence enables a product or brand to use these awards in its advertising and promotion.

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