In the online brand study conducted by Total Research Corporation/Harris Interactive/ EquiTrend with more than 30,000 consumers and completed in November 2001, the old tenet that a world class brand (a quality score of 8.00 or above) has a simple promise and delivers on that promise for a long time was proven again. This study has been regularly conducted since 1989 measuring brand equity, competitive position and goodwill.
Topping the best brands list was Craftsman Tools, nosing out Waterford Crystal, which had been first in the spring 2001 study. Newcomers into the ‘world-class’ brands list were Rolls-Royce, Hershey’s Kisses, History Channel and National Geographic Magazine.
"World Class" Brands
|Fall 2001 Rank||Brand||Spring 2001 Rank||Quality||Salience||Equity|
|3||Rolls-Royce Motor Cars||11||8.20||53||43.5|
|5||WD-40 Spray Lubricant||7||8.12||93||75.5|
QUALITY: on a
scale of 0 to 10 with 5.00 being very acceptable, 8.00 or above is considered "World Class"
SALIENCE: the percentage of people who feel aware and informed enough to rate the brand
EQUITY: quality X salience some tenets were not reinforced in this post 9/11 study:
"Usually, a recession has a substantial impact on equity scores, let alone recession plus 9/11. In past recessions, quality scores of brands tended to drop in general -- luxury brands more than everyday brands. But, most well-known brands were stable through this period." stated John Morton, senior vice president and founder of EquiTrend.
Other insights from the report:
- Comfort and escape brands tended to do well. For instance, Jack Daniel’s had the 3rd best improvement from March to November 2001, with Miller Beer and Fox Sports also on the ten most-improved list.
- Travel brands did not generally lose equity during this period. Westin Hotels ranked 15th in quality improvement, and Southwest Airlines and Japan Airlines did even better. There seems to be no evidence of any permanent damage to consumer goodwill toward travel brands.
- Media brands, perhaps due to the ‘stay-at-home syndrome’, or by virtue of their special value during risky times, tended to do well. For instance, CNBC, BBC, and The History Channel all made the ten most improved in quality list. AOL was the brand with by far the greatest quality improvement from March to November 2001.
- Luxury brands also tended to improve their quality standing unlike in other recessions. Among the top gainers are Ferrari, Michelin, Rolls Royce, Coach, Porsche, Plaza Hotels, The Wall Street Journal, and Lord & Taylor.
- Less familiar brands generally lost ground. All of the 65 brands with the biggest decrease in quality had salience levels below 50%. "People went for familiarity, comfort and quality. It is probably no coincidence that ominous-sounding Prophesy Apparel was the single biggest loser in quality during the study," Morton concluded.
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