Brands that give us comfort and provide value are driving an overall improvement in consumer sentiment according to the 2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend study conducted by Harris Interactive. Target Stores, Nintendo and M&Ms Plain Chocolate Candy were each highest ranked in their respective category. The 2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend Brand of the Year was awarded to the highest ranked brand in each of 46 categories.
Overall, consumer sentiment toward brands increased for the second straight year after falling in 2009. While the Sweet Treat category boasts several top brands, the Financial Services category shows a wide gap between brands that have maintained or improved their brand equity and those brands that consumers still hold responsible for the country’s financial collapse. Visa and USAA are two financial service brands which consumers still hold in high regard. The Harris Poll EquiTrend® study measures consumer brands within 46 different categories. Brand Equity ratings are driven by three factors: Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration.
“As consumers continue to look for ways to reduce their budgets, having a brand that consumers trust and respect plays a large role in keeping consumers loyal,” said Jeni Lee Chapman, Executive Vice President for Brand Research at Harris Interactive. “Consumers continue to be more selective about what they purchase, but those companies with high brand equity are able to avoid switching behaviors of those brands that lack brand equity.”