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Toyota, Honda Are Among the Top Ten Most Recognized Brands


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SEE ALSO: Toyota Buyers Guide
SEE ALSO: Honda Buyers Guide

By Marty Bernstein
AIADA Contributing Editor

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Automobile brands are of paramount importance to consumers. Buying a car, as everyone knows, is a major investment and decision, often based on the vehicles’ brand name and reputation.

But just twelve years ago, neither Toyota nor Honda were in the Top Ten brand list, compiled annually by Harris Polls. Ford was then ranked No. 3 when the pollsters asked consumers, “We would like you to think about brands or names of products and services you know. Considering everything, which three brands do you consider the best?"

These are some of the recent results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,372 U.S. adults surveyed online by Harris InteractiveŽ between June 5-11, 2007. Survey responses were unaided – top of mind awareness –and a list of brand names was not presented to respondents. Some interesting fluctuations have emerged over the last decade for automotive brands as the table below details.

Automotive Brand Rankings

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Toyota
*
6
=6
=7
4
*
*
5
6
4
3
Honda
*
*
*
*
*
9
*
7
=7
6
10
Ford
1
3
1
4
2
3
6
6
5
5
5

* not on top ten list; = means tie

Other Best Brands
Like David Letterman’s lists, the top names are a reflection of America’s taste and buying patterns. Respondents are not read or shown a list of brand names. So, all replies are spontaneous.

2007 Rank Brand Name
1 Coca Cola
2 Sony
3 Toyota
4 Dell
5 Ford
6 Kraft Foods
7 Pepsi Cola
8 Microsoft
9 Apple
10 Honda

Coca Cola continues its rise as it moves into the top position of the annual Harris Poll of "best brands" for the first time and rises from No. 3 last year. Sony, which had been in the top position for seven straight years, drops one spot to No. 2, while Toyota, previously in the fourth position, moves up to No. 3. Dell, which had been in the second spot last year drops two spots to No. 4 this year. Two brands dropped out of the list this year, Hewlett Packard (was No. 7) and General Electric (No. 8).

Analysis By Industry

Three industries are represented on this year’s list. Four of the companies are from the Electronics industry, while three are each from Autos and Consumer and Package Goods.

Changes Since Last Year
Most of the brands in this year’s Top 10 list have not moved up or down substantially. The most notable changes are Honda, falling from No. 6 to No. 10 and Kraft Foods which rose from No. 9 to No. 6.

A Decade Ago
One interesting thing to note is the change from 1997 and what a difference ten years makes. Only four of this year’s top ten brands were on the list back then: Ford (which was No. 1), Sony (which was No. 3), Coca-Cola (which was No. 7) and Pepsi Cola (then No. 10).

Brand Value
Top of mind association with being "best" is a good position for any brand," said Robert Fronk, Senior Vice President, Brand and Strategy Consulting, Harris Interactive. "For a truly successful brand relationship though, the objective is not just awareness, but to foster the ongoing process and outcome of brand engagement, which requires more custom and sophisticated measures based upon the interaction of the brand and its desired audience."

Bottom line? In the world of brand hype, proliferation and amplification, failure to meet consumer expectations (demands) is reflected in a loss of status and awareness.  It’s true for a dealer’s brand name too.

 

 
 

Copyright 1996– The Auto Channel.

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