First Annual Harris Poll Youth EquiTrend Study Uncovers Brands with Highest Equity Among 8-24 Year Olds

NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Leading global market research firm, Harris Interactive, today released the 2010 results of the first annual Youth EquiTrend study, which asks 8-24 year olds to rate between 98 and 125 brands on several key elements of brand equity including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.  Youth EquiTrend is a complement to Harris Interactive’s EquiTrend study which has been tracking consumers’ awareness and perception of brands for over 20 years.  


Youth’s Top Brand Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand

It seems M&Ms really are “always fun,” per their slogan. The chocolate candy ranks first in brand equity, according to the Youth EquiTrend study. Google ranks second, and is the only online organization youth rank among the top ten brands. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Oreo’s rank third and fourth, respectively, followed by Apple’s iPod, which rounds out the top five brands with the highest equity among youth.


Rank based on Equity


Brands rated by all respondents

 

1

M&Ms

 

2

Google

 

3

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

 

4

Oreo’s

 

5

iPod

 

6

Target

 

7

Subway

 

8

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate

 

9

Doritos

 

10

Pixar

 
   

 

“Today’s youth are not just tomorrow’s consumers; they are already consumers in their own right with their own money to spend. What companies need to remember is that if brand loyalty is built in these early years, that brand loyalty will remain for years to come,” according to Regina A. Corso, SVP, Youth and Education Research at Harris Interactive.  “At this stage, the brands that resonate the most with youth are mostly ones that involve food – six of the top ten are candy, snacks or restaurants.”


Tweens Wild for Wii

Nintendo Wii ranks highest in brand equity among the youngest set, ages 8-12 years old, followed by Doritos and Oreo’s, ranked second and third, respectively. M&Ms follows next, ranking fourth in brand equity among this age group. Finally, rounding out the top five is the Disney Channel. Though ranked fifth among this age group, overall, the Disney Channel ranks highest among the media and television brands for the 8-12 year old age group.


Rank based on Equity


Brands rated by 8-12 year olds

 

1

Nintendo Wii

 

2

Doritos

 

3

Oreo’s

 

4

M&Ms

 

5

Disney Channel

 

6

Nickelodeon

 

7

Nintendo DS

 

8

McDonald’s

 

9

Toys R Us

 

10

Cartoon Network

 
   

 


There’s No Wrong Way… to Rate a Reese’s

While ranking third in brand equity among all age groups, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups take the top spot for highest brand equity among 13-17 year olds. Apple’s iPod is ranked second highest in brand equity among this age group, followed by Google, ranked third. M&Ms and Oreo’s continue to make appearances in the top five brands, ranking fourth and fifth, respectively, among this audience.


Rank based on Equity


Brands rated by 13-17 year olds

 

1

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

 

2

iPod

 

3

Google

 

4

M&Ms

 

5

Oreo’s

 

6

Subway

 

7

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate

 

8

Target

 

9

Sprite

 

10

Microsoft

 
   

 


Young Adults “Googley” for Technology

Though sweets and toys topped the brand equity lists for younger teens and tweens, for young adults, it’s all about tech. The ongoing Google vs. Facebook battle continues, though, among this group, Google ranks highest in brand equity, followed by Facebook. Apple’s iPod is ranked third in brand equity for young adults, followed by Gatorade and Target, ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.


Rank based on Equity


Brands rated by 18-24 year olds

 

1

Google

 

2

Facebook

 

3

iPod

 

4

Gatorade

 

5

Target

 

6

Subway

 

7

Apple

 

8

iTunes

 

9

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

 

10

Oreo’s

 
   

 

“As kids age, their tastes, and therefore their favorite brands, change with them. Tweens are all about Disney and Nick as well as gaming, where teens add more technology to the mix.  For young adults the snack foods are still there, but technology takes an even stronger presence in their top ten,” according to Corso. “It’s also important to remember that youth have ways to learn about brands, as well as discuss brands, that previous generations could not have dreamed of. When marketers focus their efforts on just adults, or even just young adults, the teens and tweens take notice of that perceived snub. And, not only do they have the tools at their disposal to let their dissatisfaction with a brand be known, they are not afraid to use them.”

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