The Brands we Love Most

By Harris, Special for  USDR

The brands Americans love say a lot about how they live.  In 2015, classic trusted brands increasingly comingle with “connected” internet brands based on the top brands in the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.  EquiTrend is Harris Poll’s annual study of  brands.

The EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three key factors—Familiarity, Quality and Consideration—that result in a Brand Equity rating for each brand.   Brands that rank highest in Equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Brand of the Year” award for their category.  For this, the 27th annual study, more than 38,000 Americans assessed over 1,400 brands across 148  categories.

Something  Old

Twelve brands have been ranked #1 in equity within their respective categories for 5 or more years in a row, and many of these scored in the top 10% of all brands measured in EquiTrend in 2015.  These brands cover a range of categories, from sandwich shops (Subway), to mass merchandisers (Target), paint (KILZ), to greeting cards  (Hallmark).

“Brands that build and keep their promise over time—and develop strong differentiation—stay relevant for the long term,” noted Joan Sinopoli, Vice President of Brand Solutions at Harris Poll.  “Strong equity has value and can sustain companies through hard times.  Target remains one of America’s most esteemed brands despite the data breach in 2014, and consumers are willing to give it a chance to  rebound.”

Brands with Staying Power:  Tops in their categories for five or more consecutive  years

Brand of the Year

Category

Visa

Payment card

Hallmark Greeting Cards

Greeting card

Craftsman Tools

Power Tool

Subway

Sandwich Shop

Target Stores

Mass Merchandiser

The Weather Channel

TV News

Michelin Tires

Tires

KILZ

Paint

Southwest Airlines

Value Airline

Mercedes-Benz Vehicles

Luxury Automotive

Verizon Mobile Network

Mobile Network

Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Health Insurance

Something  New

A look at the top non-CPG brands* rated in EquiTrend magnifies the importance of technology and connectivity in simplifying and enhancing American lives.  Four of the top-ranked brands owe their success to connectivity:  Amazon.com, Netflix, PayPal, and  YouTube.

“The degree to which connectivity has shifted brand building from something that happens over time to something that can happen in short order is amazing,” Sinopoli commented.  “That’s not to say that Amazon or Netflix are comets.  They have done careful planning, picked where and how to expand, and developed smart product strategies to help challenge conventional wisdom and quickly become part of how we live our lives today.  That’s what branding is all about: making human connections with everyday  life.”

The Next Big Thing:  Mobile  Wallets

As technology continues transforming financial services, for the first time, EquiTrend measured mobile payments.  Despite category fragmentation and limited familiarity across brands, the category is poised to transform very quickly.  PayPal, the established “click and pay” brand, leads direct competitors by a wide margin.

What does the future hold?  EquiTrend shows that any wallet associated with Amazon.com, Google, Apple and major credit card providers gains a solid level of familiarity courtesy of the parent brand, as well as strong quality perceptions and a predisposition to  try.

“Market fragmentation, rolling rebranding, and merchants waiting for the shakeout before investing in systems has gotten in the way of adoption,” noted Sinopoli.  “When one of these brands gets the execution right and merchant acceptance hits critical mass, consumers appear ready to jump on board.   Visa has changed its mobile wallet branding from V.me to Visa Checkout. Mastercard’s PayPass is now MasterPass.  Both payment cards are strong financial brands, and clearly the intent is to extend that esteem and solidity to these product extensions,” stated  Sinopoli.

From an equity perspective, within the financial services sector, payment cards have not been impacted by the recession.  Visa has held its position as the top ranked payment card for five years  running.

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Automotive

Motor Oil

Mobil 1 Motor Oil

Automotive

Online Auto Shopping

Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com)

Automotive

Full Line Automotive

Toyota Vehicles

Automotive

Luxury Automotive

Mercedes-Benz Vehicles

Automotive

Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Automotive

Auto Service Center

Discount Tire

Automotive

Tires

Michelin Tires

Automotive

Car Audio

Bose In-Vehicle Audio

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

CPG

Chocolate Candy

Hershey’s Kisses Chocolate Candy

CPG

Non-Chocolate Candy

Reese’s Pieces Candy

CPG

Premium Chocolate

Ghirardelli Chocolate

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Financial Services

National Bank

CHASE Bank

Financial Services

Super Regional Bank

BB&T Bank

Financial Services

Health Insurance

Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Financial Services

Auto Insurance

USAA Auto Insurance

Financial Services

Home Insurance

USAA Home Insurance

Financial Services

Life Insurance

USAA Life Insurance

Financial Services

Investment

The Vanguard Group

Financial Services

Discount Brokerage

Fidelity Investments Financial Services

Financial Services

Mobile Payment

PayPal

Financial Services

Payment Card

Visa

Financial Services

Tax Preparation

TurboTax

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Household

Greeting Card

Hallmark Greeting Cards

Household

Health Information Website

MayoClinic.org

Household

Major Appliance

Samsung Appliances

Household

Movie Theater

Regal Cinemas

Household

Online Home Search

Trulia.com

Household

Online Job Search

Indeed.com

Household

Paint

KILZ

Household

Power Tool

Craftsman Tools

Household

Real Estate Agency

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Household

Single Serve Coffee Maker

Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker

Household

Small Kitchen Appliance

KitchenAid Small Appliances

Household

Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson Vacuum

Household

Social Networking Site

YouTube

Household

Window Covering

Levolor Blinds & Shades

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Transportation/Delivery

Moving Truck

U-Haul Moving Truck Rental

Transportation/Delivery

Package Delivery

UPS (United Parcel Service)

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Media

TV Service Provider

Verizon FiOS

Media

Video Streaming Subscription

Netflix

Media

News Service

Google News

Media

Music TV

CMT Network (Country Music Television)

Media

Pay Cable TV Network

HBO Television Network

Media

Factual Entertainment TV

History Channel

Media

General Entertainment TV

AMC Television Network (American Movie Classics)

Media

Kids’ TV

Sprout Network (formerly PBS Kids Sprout)

Media

Sports TV

ESPN Television Network

Media

TV Network

CBS Television Network

Media

TV News

The Weather Channel

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Non-Profit Corporations

Animal Welfare Non-Profit

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

Non-Profit Corporations

Disability Non-Profit

Goodwill

Non-Profit Corporations

Environmental Non-Profit

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Non-Profit Corporations

Health Non-Profit

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Non-Profit Corporations

International Aid Non-Profit

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)

Non-Profit Corporations

Social Services Non-Profit

Habitat for Humanity

Non-Profit Corporations

Disabled Veterans Association

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Non-Profit Corporations

Youth Non-Profit

Girl Scouts of the USA

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Over-the-Counter Products

OTC Children’s Pain Relief

Children’s Tylenol

Over-the-Counter Products

OTC Cold / Allergy

Vicks Cold and Flu Products (DayQuil/NyQuil)

Over-the-Counter Products

OTC Digestive Aid

TUMS

Over-the-Counter Products

OTC Fiber supplement

Metamucil

Over-the-Counter Products

OTC Laxative

Dulcolax

Over-the-Counter Products

OTC Pain Relief

Advil Pain Reliever

Over-the-Counter Products

OTC Sleep Aid

Advil PM

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Retail

Convenience Store

Sheetz Convenience Store

Retail

Department Store

Kohl’s Department Stores

Retail

Discount Shoes Store

DSW Shoes

Retail

Gasoline

Shell Gasoline

Retail

Gift Basket

Harry & David

Retail

Hardware & Home Store

The Home Depot

Retail

Jeweler

Tiffany & Co.

Retail

Luxury Department Store

Lord & Taylor Department Store

Retail

Mass Merchandiser

Target Stores

Retail

Office Supply Store

Staples Stores

Retail

Off-Price Retailer

Ross Dress For Less

Retail

Pet Supply Store

PetSmart Stores

Retail

Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

Retail

Sporting Goods Store

DICK’S Sporting Goods

Retail

Value Store

Dollar Tree

Retail

Warehouse Club

Costco

Retail

South Region Grocery Store

Publix

Retail

Midwest Region Grocery Store

Hy-Vee

Retail

Northeast Region Grocery Store

Wegmans

Retail

West Region Grocery Store

Costco (Groceries)

Retail

Online Grocery

Amazon Prime Pantry

Retail

E-Retailer

Amazon.com

Retail

Online Department Store

Kohls.com

Retail

Online Mass Merchandiser

Target.com

Retail

Online Office Supplies

Staples.com

Retail

Online Computer Retailer

BestBuy.com

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Tech

Computer Manufacturer

Hewlett-Packard (HP) Computers

Tech

Consumer Electronics

Samsung Home Electronics

Tech

Digital Camera

Canon Digital Camera

Tech

Gaming Console

Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4)

Tech

Operating System

Android

Tech

Printing & Imaging

HP Printing & Imaging

Tech

Smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

Tech

Tablet Computer

Apple iPad Series Tablet

Tech

Video Game Series

Grand Theft Auto Video Games

Tech

Wearable Fitness Tech

Fitbit Fitness Trackers

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Telecommunications

Mobile Network

Verizon Mobile Network

Telecommunications

Mobile Phone

Samsung Galaxy Series Phone

Category

Award Category

2015 Brand of the Year

Travel/Entertainment

Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean International

Travel/Entertainment

Online Travel Service

Hotels.com

Travel/Entertainment

Value Airline

Southwest Airlines

Travel/Entertainment

Full Service Airline

Delta Air Lines

Travel/Entertainment

Economy Hotel

Americas Best Value Inn

Travel/Entertainment

Extended Stay Hotel

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Travel/Entertainment

Full Service Hotel

Marriott Hotels

Travel/Entertainment

Luxury Hotel

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Travel/Entertainment

Mid-Market Hotel

Hampton Inn & Suites

Travel/Entertainment

Burger Restaurant

In-N-Out Burger

Travel/Entertainment

Casual Dining Restaurant

Outback Steakhouse

Travel/Entertainment

Chicken Restaurant

Chick-fil-A

Travel/Entertainment

Coffee & Quick Service Restaurant

Krispy Kreme

Travel/Entertainment

Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Travel/Entertainment

Italian Dining Restaurant

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Travel/Entertainment

Pizza Chain

Pizza Hut

Travel/Entertainment

Sandwich Shop

Subway

Travel/Entertainment

Sports League

NFL (National Football League)

Harris Poll EquiTrend®  Methodology

Harris Poll EquiTrend is based on a sample of 38,670 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online in English language between January 8 and February 2, 2015.  The survey took an average of 30 minutes to complete. The total number of brands rated was 1,410. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data were weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over based on age by sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be  calculated.

The Brand Equity Index is the keystone to the EquiTrend program, providing an understanding of a brand’s overall strength. A brand’s Equity is determined by a calculation of Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration. Brand of the Year is determined by a simple ranking of  brands.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.