AUSTRALIAN consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the Perth-based BankWest brand, while Bill Gates’ Microsoft has been named as Australia’s most authentic brand, a study has revealed. The Authentic Brand Index study, which measures the authenticity of global and local brands among Australian consumers, found Microsoft leading the pack, with another US company, Google, coming in at number two. Rounding out the top five were Australia Post, Bunnings, Bonds and Cadbury. Australia Post emerged as the most authentic local brand in the study, while Bunnings outstripped its new Coles Group stablemates as the most authentic retail brand in Australia. Among the top 20 most authentic brands were Vegemite (8), McDonald’s (10), Colgate (11) and Coca-Cola (12), all of which made their debut in the ABI this year. The top five brands that increased in authenticity were BankWest, IGA, Samsung, BigPond, and Microsoft. At the other end of the scale, ING Direct, Qantas, ANZ, Virgin Blue, and LG recorded the greatest falls. More than 4,500 consumers participated in this year’s study, which was managed by Synovate and Principals.