Apple, Hershey’s, and surprisingly, Sprite (not Coke or Pepsi) are three of the top brands for youth, according to the 2012 Harris Poll Youth EquiTrend study, by Harris Interactive.
The annual study benchmarks the brands that America's youth prefer and those that have the ability to dominate their industries' youth market share. The study measures brand equity as an outcome of familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration among Americans ages 8 to 24. Equity, emotional connection, and brand advocacy are evaluated.
Young Americans are expected to spend $211 billion in 2012, according to Harris Interactive. Companies need to remember that consumers do not magically appear at age 18, said Regina A. Corso, senior vice president for youth and education research at Harris Interactive.
"Youth of today have spending power and they also have loyalty to brands,” Corso said in a statement. “Some of this comes from their parents, but they also make their own decisions. Brands who tap into this loyalty when a consumer is a tween, and nurture it through the teen years, will have an extremely loyal customer by the time the customer is a young adult."
Apple is the highest-ranked computer brand, followed by Hewlett-Packard and Sony. iPad is the highest-ranked computer tablet brand, followed by Motorola Xoom and BlackBerry PlayBook, and iPhone is the highest-ranked mobile phone brand, followed by HTC Phones and Samsung Phone. Nintendo Wii is the highest-ranked gaming platform brand, followed by Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo DS.
This is good news for Apple, and indicates that their brand is very strong, said Jeni Lee Chapman, executive vice president of Harris' Brand and Communication Consulting practice. “To have this kind of significant edge among 13- to-24-year-olds signifies that Apple has built a powerful equity base among their customers of today and their customers of tomorrow," Chapman said. "Brands often struggle to maintain relevancy among different generations. This data shows that this is not going to be an issue for Apple."
In the food category, although 8- to-24-year-olds have varied interests, certain comfort foods, like cookies and candy are timeless. For example: Oreo Cookies and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Candy Bars are each highest-ranked in their respective categories, and sweet treat and cookie brands receive some of the highest equity scores among those surveyed.
Following Hershey's Milk Chocolate Candy Bars in the sweet treats category are Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey's Kisses. Oreo Cookies is the highest-ranked cookies brand, followed by three Chips Ahoy cookies brands (Chips Ahoy, Chewy Chips Ahoy and Chunky Chips Ahoy.) For the soda brand, Sprite is the highest-ranked brand, followed by Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.
Cheerios is the highest-ranked cereal brand, followed by Kellogg's Frosted Flakes and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Minute Maid is the highest-ranked fruit juice brand, followed by Tropicana and Florida's Natural Refrigerated Orange Juice. In fruit-flavored drinks, Capri Sun is the highest-ranked brand, followed by KoolAid.
As for media consumption, ABC is the highest-ranked broadcast TV brand, followed by Fox Television Network and CBS. In kids' TV programming, Nickelodeon is the highest-ranked brand, followed by Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Among the social media brands, YouTube.com is the highest-ranked brand, followed by Facebook.com.
The study was conducted online among 5,077 U.S. consumers ages 8-24 in August 2011. A total of 121 brands were rated among 8- to-12-year-olds and 167 brands among 13- to-24-year-olds. Each 8- to-12-year-old respondent was asked to rate a total of 15 randomly selected brands and each 13- to-24-year-old respondent was asked to rate a total of 22 randomly selected brands. Each brand received at least 130 ratings. Data were weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 8-24 on the basis of age, sex, education, urbanicity (8- to-17-year-olds), race/ethnicity, region, parental education (8- to-17-year-olds), and income (18- to-24-year-olds), and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online.