Below you can see the results of Harris Interactive EquiTrend study which sets out to measure and rank brand equity across a range of product categories in the US. The brand with the number one equity score in 2008: Heinz Ketchup. (yeah, not Coca Cola)
However, some of the top winners there have intrigued me, leaving me wondering what the hell is brand equity all about?! According to the article, this study of brand equity supposedly measured familiarity, quality, purchase consideration, brand expectations, distinctiveness, and trust. Ok! Maybe so, but the results are pretty hard to take – Just look at the winner over financial services: VISA – they have no physical presence, no direct customer service and support and their products are always co-branded in one way or another. So they are telling us that VISA is having the highest brand equity in the industry?
What is also interesting is the brand equity winner over the software industry – MICROSOFT – when they conducted the survey, they systematically avoided Apple users? Let’s not forget Microsoft still needs to improve their brand equity, especially since people still regard them as the “evil empire”.
Bottom line is that this study proves that the whole concept of brand equity is far from being a measurable science. Maybe things will change..