The Harris Poll Names 2016 Brands of the Year

Technology Brands Experience Fast Jump in Brand Equity; Financial Institutions Continue Slow March Toward Brand Equity Improvement

09:00 AM EDT Apr 20, 2016 Rating
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Netflix, Toyota, Fidelity Investments, Apple, Subway, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Hilton Hotels and More Take Top Brand Honors

Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL and Zillow.com Show Significant Brand Equity Increases 

NEW YORK, April 20, 2016 – The Harris Poll® today released its 28th annual EquiTrend Study, revealing the strongest brands in nearly 100 categories across the media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurants and household industries, based on consumer response.

Measuring brands’ health over time, the EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors -- Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration -- that result in a brand equity rating for each brand. Brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend® “Brand of the Year” award for their respective categories. This year, more than 97,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 3,800 brands across nearly 500 categories. The complete list of Harris Poll EquiTrend Brands of the Year can be found at: www.theharrispoll.com/business/2016-Brands-of-the-Year.html. Additional information can be found at: www.theharrispoll.com/equitrend-information.

“Consumers form impressions of brands long before they ever use them, based on their perceptions and what they may know from trusted sources,” said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at Nielsen, which owns The Harris Poll. “This high level equity is the gateway to eventual purchase; it also helps to protect brands from the consequences of an occasional misstep. The strength of a company’s brand equity can have direct business and financial outcomes.” 

The Harris Poll EquiTrend Brand Equity Index has been academically vetted[1] twice, showing that strong brand equity is associated with strong financial performance, even during a financial downturn, such as experienced in 2007-2010.

The Biggest Gainers: Technology Brands on a Fast Rise

According to the Harris Poll study, 13 Brands of the Year have increased their equity rating by more than six percent since 2014, a significant increase given the tendency for equity to resist rapid movement. Of the 13 equity risers, six are technology-related brands. Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL demonstrates the largest brand equity increase (+16%) over a three-year period. Other rapid equity movers include Samsung Galaxy Gear Watch, Netflix, YouTube, Sony Home Electronics and Zillow.com. Since last year, Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL (+8%) and Zillow (+6%) show the largest equity increases.

“It’s no secret that technology has completely permeated our lives, and this is reflected by the range of technology brands experiencing unusually rapid increases in equity,” said Sinopoli. “We watch, we wear, we listen, we play, and we connect, using multiple devices to do so. We’re even shopping for real estate online. As U.S. consumers continue to conduct daily activities via technology, we can expect technology brands delivering on their brand promises to make equity gains.”

Rapid Risers: Top 13 Brands of the Year with Largest Equity Increases

2014-2016

(Increases of 7 – 16 percent)

Brand

Category

1. Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL

Gaming Console

2. Moe’s Southwest Grill

Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant

3. Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

Smartwatch

4. The Vanguard Group

Investment Management

5. Netflix

Video Streaming Subscription

6. Capital One

Super Regional Bank[2]

7. YouTube

Social Networking Site

8. Lexus Vehicles

Luxury Automotive

9. Sony Home Electronics

Home Electronics

10. Zillow.com

Online Home Search

11. KILZ

Paint

12. Dyson

Vacuum Cleaner

13. Macy’s Department Store

Department Store

Source: The Harris Poll EquiTrend®  Study 

  

Consumers Invest in Top Brands At Home 

According to the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend research, non-technology brands on the rapid equity risers list show consumers’ willingness to invest in brands to improve their homes.

“It’s a cautious recovery, but consumers are paying more attention to brands that help them invest in comfortable, well-maintained homes,” said Sinopoli. “Dyson and Kilz have topped their respective categories for years, and they continue to deliver on the expectation of quality they have built over time.” 

Financial Institutions March Slowly Toward Improved Brand Equity

The Harris Poll study indicates that consumers’ memories of the 2008 financial crisis may be receding; overall, financial institutions continue their slow march toward improved brand equity.  However, brand equity for some financial service providers are increasing more quickly than others. The Vanguard Group, recognized by many consumers as a 401(k) provider, has increased its brand equity by 12 percent since 2014. Capital One increased its brand equity by 10 percent since 2014, likely helped by heavy promotion of its credit card business.

“Our research, across multiple brand studies, shows that when considering investment firms, those providing 401(k) services tend to have the strongest brand equity, likely because they are associated with a very well-defined consumer benefit, versus firms associated with the banking/mortgage crisis,” said Sinopoli.

Methodology

The 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is based on a sample of 97,120 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between December 22, 2015 and February 1, 2016.  The survey took an average of 30 minutes to complete. The total number of brands rated was 3,837. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data was 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. 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.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

About The Harris Poll
Over the last five decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers' motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods. Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive, Inc. (which operates The Harris Poll) in 2014. Contact us for more information.

Harris Poll EquiTrend study results disclosed in this release may not be used for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes without the prior written consent of Harris Poll. All third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Use of such trademarks does not constitute or imply any sponsorship or endorsement. 

The 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Brands of the Year

Industry

Award Category

Brand

Automotive

Full Line Automotive

Toyota Vehicles

Automotive

Luxury Automotive

Lexus Vehicles

Automotive

Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Automotive

Auto Service Center

Discount Tire

Automotive

Car Audio

Bose In-Vehicle Audio

Automotive

Motor Oil

Pennzoil Motor Oil

Automotive

OEM Branded Infotainment

Chevy MyLink

Automotive

Online Auto Shopping

Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com)

Automotive

Tire

Michelin Tires

Entertainment/Recreation

Movie Theater

Regal Cinemas

Entertainment/Recreation

Sports League

NFL (National Football League)

Financial Services/Insurance

Discount Brokerage

Fidelity Investments Financial Services

Financial Services/Insurance

Investment

The Vanguard Group

Financial Services/Insurance

Mobile Payment

PayPal

Financial Services/Insurance

National Bank

CHASE Bank

Financial Services/Insurance

Payment Card

Visa

Financial Services/Insurance

Super Regional Bank

Capital One

Financial Services/Insurance

Tax Preparation

TurboTax

Financial Services/Insurance

Auto Insurance

AAA Auto Insurance

Financial Services/Insurance

Health Insurance

Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Financial Services/Insurance

Home Insurance

State Farm Home Insurance

Financial Services/Insurance

Life Insurance

State Farm Life Insurance

Household

Computer Manufacturer

Apple Computers

Household

Delivered Gifts

Edible Arrangements

Household

Digital Cameras

Canon Digital Cameras

Household

Gaming Console

Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL

Household

Home Electronics

Sony Home Electronics

Household

Media Streaming Device

Google Chromecast

Household

Mobile Operating System

Apple iOS

Household

Operating System

Apple OS X

Household

Printing & Imaging

HP Printing & Imaging

Household

Smartphones

Apple iPhone Series Smartphones

Household

Smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

Household

Tablet Computer

Apple iPad Series Tablets

Household

Wearable Fitness Tech

Fitbit Fitness Trackers

Household

Major Appliance

KitchenAid Appliances

Household

Power Tool

Craftsman Tools

Household

Single Serve Coffee Maker

Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker

Household

Small Kitchen Appliance

KitchenAid Small Appliances

Household

Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson Vacuum

Household

Cookware

KitchenAid Cookware

Household

Greeting Card

Hallmark Greeting Cards

Household

Paint

KILZ

Household

Window Covering

Hunter Douglas Blinds & Shades

Household

Moving Truck

U-Haul Moving Truck Rental

Household

Online Home Search

Zillow.com

Household

Online Job Search

Indeed.com

Household

Package Delivery

UPS (United Parcel Service)

Household

Real Estate Agency

Real Living Real Estate

Household

Wireless Carrier

Verizon Mobile Network

Media

Health Information Website

WebMD

 

Media

News Service

Google News

Media

Social Networking Site

YouTube

Media

Internet Radio Service

Pandora Internet Radio

Media

Factual Entertainment TV

History Channel

Media

General Entertainment TV

AMC Television Network (American Movie Classics)

Media

Kids' TV

Discovery Family Channel

Media

Music TV

Great American Country (GAC)

Media

Pay Cable TV Network

HBO Television Network

Media

Sports TV

ESPN Television Network

Media

TV Network

ABC Television Network [TIED]

Media

TV Network

CBS Television Network [TIED]

Media

TV News

The Weather Channel

Media

TV Service Providers

Google Fiber

Media

Video Streaming Subscription

Netflix

Non-Profit

Animal Welfare Non-Profit

Best Friends Animal Society

Non-Profit

Disability Non-Profit

Special Olympics

Non-Profit

Disabled Veterans Association

Wounded Warrior Project

Non-Profit

Environmental Non-Profit

Wildlife Conservation Society

Non-Profit

Health Non-Profit

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Non-Profit

International Aid Non-Profit

Food For The Poor

Non-Profit

Social Services Non-Profit

Habitat for Humanity

Non-Profit

Youth Non-Profit

Girl Scouts of the USA

Restaurants

Burger Restaurant

In-N-Out Burger

Restaurants

Casual Dining Restaurant

IHOP (International House of Pancakes)

Restaurants

Chicken Restaurant

Chick-fil-A

Restaurants

Coffee & Quick Service Restaurant

Dunkin' Donuts Stores

Restaurants

Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant

Moe's Southwest Grill

Restaurants

Italian Dining Restaurant

Olive Garden Italian Restaurants

Restaurants

Pizza Chain

Pizza Hut

Restaurants

Sandwich Shop

Subway

Retail

Department Store

Macy's Department Store

Retail

Discount Shoes Store

DSW Shoes

Retail

Electronics Store

Best Buy Stores

Retail

Hardware & Home Store

The Home Depot

Retail

Luxury Department Store

Nordstrom Department Store

Retail

Off-Price Retailer

TJ Maxx Stores

Retail

Online Computer Retailer

Apple.com Online Electronics Retailer

Retail

Online Department Store

Kohls.com Online Department Store

Retail

Sporting Goods Store

Cabela's

Travel

Full Service Airline

Delta Air Lines

Travel

Value Airline

Southwest Airlines

Travel

Economy Hotel

Microtel Inn & Suites

Travel

Extended Stay Hotel

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Travel

Full Service Hotel

Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Travel

Luxury Hotel

W Hotels and Resorts

Travel

Mid-Market Hotel

Hampton Inn & Suites

Travel

Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line

Travel

Online Travel Service

Expedia.com

 



[1] The Harris Poll EquiTrend methodology has been validated by academic business experts in the Journal of Marketing Research (1994) and International Journal of Research on Marketing (2012).

[2] A mid-sized bank that has a significant presence in a geographical region across multiple states.

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