Plain M&M’s and Hershey’s Kisses scored highest in a ranking of 1,000 US consumer brands with the most brand equity, while a number of financial brands plummeted to the bottom of the list because of the economic crisis, according to (pdf) results from Harris Interactive‘s 2009 EquiTrend study.
The annual study, which rated 1,000 high-profile brands based on seven base measures, found that trusted, non-volatile brands are holding steady in the face of economic turmoil. Food brands – particularly comfort foods such as candy, continue to dominate the top-10 list. Candy brands accounted for four of the top five and five of the top 10, while another feel-good food, Campbell’s soup, made the list at #7.
Non-food brands in the top 10 include CPG staples Arm & Hammer baking soda, Kleenex tissues and Crayola crayons, while Google also performed strongly, clocking in at #8.
The top 10 brands:
Consistent with previous years, tobacco brands continue to fall to the bottom of the heap, Harris Interactive said. Not surprisingly, given the economic situation of the past year, financial service brands, particularly AIG, have now joined these weaker brands and receive some of the lowest scores.
Top Brands in Each Category
The EquiTrend study also included a ranking of brands in various categories of product and service types. Some examples of top brands in categories include Target in the retail merchandiser category; DreamWorks in the movie production category; and? Subway in the fast-food category. Honda ranks on top in the auto manufacturer category:
“Consumers continue to turn to strong, trusted brands, particularly during periods of uncertainty,” said Judy Ricker, division president of Brand and Communications Consulting for Harris Interactive. “Strategic investment in and careful monitoring of your brand is critical in both good and bad times, and will help you navigate the volatile environment.”
About the study: The Equitrend Study has traditionally ranked brands on six base measures – including familiarity, quality, purchase consideration, brand expectations, distinctiveness and trust. A brand equity score is determined by a calculation of familiarity, quality and purchase consideration for each individual brand. Given the difficult economic times, this year a seventh base measure was added to capture the value consumers feel they receive from a brand for the money they pay.