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Your most trusted brands for 2015

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The brands Americans love say a lot about how they live. In 2015, classic trusted brands increasingly comingle with "connected" internet brands, based on the top brands in the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study, the results of which were released Wednesday. EquiTrend is Harris Poll's annual study of brands.

The EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three key factors—Familiarity, Quality and Consideration—that result in a Brand Equity rating for each brand. Brands that rank highest in Equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend "Brand of the Year" award for their category. For this, the 27th annual study, more than 38,000 Americans assessed over 1,400 brands across 148 categories. 

Twelve brands have been ranked #1 in equity within their respective categories for five or more years in a row, and many of these scored in the top 10 percent of all brands measured in EquiTrend in 2015. These brands cover a range of categories, from sandwich shops (Subway), to mass merchandisers (Target), paint (KILZ), to greeting cards (Hallmark).

"Brands that build and keep their promise over time—and develop strong differentiation—stay relevant for the long term," said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of Brand Solutions at Harris Poll. "Strong equity has value and can sustain companies through hard times. Target remains one of America's most esteemed brands despite the data breach in 2014, and consumers are willing to give it a chance to rebound."

Brands with Staying Power:  Tops in their categories for five or more consecutive years

Brand of the Year Category
Visa Payment card
Hallmark Greeting Cards Greeting card
Craftsman Tools Power Tool
Subway Sandwich Shop
Target Stores Mass Merchandiser
The Weather Channel TV News
Michelin Tires Tires
KILZ Paint
Southwest Airlines Value Airline
Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Luxury Automotive
Verizon Mobile Network Mobile Network
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health Insurance

A look at the top non-CPG brands* rated in EquiTrend magnifies the importance of technology and connectivity in simplifying and enhancing American lives. Four of the top-ranked brands owe their success to connectivity:  Amazon.com, Netflix, PayPal, and YouTube. 

"The degree to which connectivity has shifted brand building from something that happens over time to something that can happen in short order is amazing," Sinopoli said. "That's not to say that Amazon or Netflix are comets. They have done careful planning, picked where and how to expand, and developed smart product strategies to help challenge conventional wisdom and quickly become part of how we live our lives today. That's what branding is all about: making human connections with everyday life."

As technology continues transforming financial services, EquiTrend, for the first time, measured mobile payments. Despite category fragmentation and limited familiarity across brands, the category is poised to transform very quickly. PayPal, the established "click and pay" brand, leads direct competitors by a wide margin.

What does the future hold?  EquiTrend shows that any wallet associated with Amazon.com, Google, Apple and major credit card providers gains a solid level of familiarity courtesy of the parent brand, as well as strong quality perceptions and a predisposition to try.

"Market fragmentation, rolling rebranding, and merchants waiting for the shakeout before investing in systems has gotten in the way of adoption," Sinopoli said. "When one of these brands gets the execution right and merchant acceptance hits critical mass, consumers appear ready to jump on board. Visa has changed its mobile wallet branding from V.me to Visa Checkout. Mastercard's PayPass is now MasterPass. Both payment cards are strong financial brands and clearly the intent is to extend that esteem and solidity to these product extensions," stated Sinopoli.

From an equity perspective, within the financial services sector, payment cards have not been impacted by the recession. Visa has held its position as the top ranked payment card for five years running.

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend Brands of the Year

Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Automotive Motor Oil Mobil 1 Motor Oil
Automotive Online Auto Shopping Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com)
Automotive Full Line Automotive Toyota Vehicles
Automotive Luxury Automotive Mercedes-Benz Vehicles
Automotive Motorcycle Harley-Davidson Motorcycles
Automotive Auto Service Center Discount Tire
Automotive Tires Michelin Tires
Automotive Car Audio Bose In-Vehicle Audio
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
CPG Chocolate Candy Hershey's Kisses Chocolate Candy
CPG Non-Chocolate Candy Reese's Pieces Candy
CPG Premium Chocolate Ghirardelli Chocolate
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Financial Services National Bank CHASE Bank
Financial Services Super Regional Bank BB&T Bank
Financial Services Health Insurance Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Financial Services Auto Insurance USAA Auto Insurance
Financial Services Home Insurance USAA Home Insurance
Financial Services Life Insurance USAA Life Insurance
Financial Services Investment The Vanguard Group
Financial Services Discount Brokerage Fidelity Investments Financial Services
Financial Services Mobile Payment PayPal
Financial Services Payment Card Visa
Financial Services Tax Preparation TurboTax
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Household Greeting Card Hallmark Greeting Cards
Household Health Information Website MayoClinic.org
Household Major Appliance Samsung Appliances
Household Movie Theater Regal Cinemas
Household Online Home Search Trulia.com
Household Online Job Search Indeed.com
Household Paint KILZ
Household Power Tool Craftsman Tools
Household Real Estate Agency Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Household Single Serve Coffee Maker Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker
Household Small Kitchen Appliance KitchenAid Small Appliances
Household Vacuum Cleaner Dyson Vacuum
Household Social Networking Site YouTube
Household Window Covering Levolor Blinds & Shades
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Transportation/Delivery Moving Truck U-Haul Moving Truck Rental
Transportation/Delivery Package Delivery UPS (United Parcel Service)
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Media TV Service Provider Verizon FiOS
Media Video Streaming Subscription Netflix
Media News Service Google News
Media Music TV CMT Network (Country Music Television)
Media Pay Cable TV Network HBO Television Network
Media Factual Entertainment TV History Channel
Media General Entertainment TV AMC Television Network (American Movie Classics)
Media Kids' TV Sprout Network (formerly PBS Kids Sprout)
Media Sports TV ESPN Television Network
Media TV Network CBS Television Network
Media TV News The Weather Channel
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Non-Profit Corporations Animal Welfare Non-Profit American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
Non-Profit Corporations Disability Non-Profit Goodwill
Non-Profit Corporations Environmental Non-Profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Non-Profit Corporations Health Non-Profit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Non-Profit Corporations International Aid Non-Profit Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)
Non-Profit Corporations Social Services Non-Profit Habitat for Humanity
Non-Profit Corporations Disabled Veterans Association Paralyzed Veterans of America
Non-Profit Corporations Youth Non-Profit Girl Scouts of the USA
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Children's Pain Relief Children's Tylenol
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Cold / Allergy Vicks Cold and Flu Products (DayQuil/NyQuil)
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Digestive Aid TUMS
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Fiber supplement Metamucil
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Laxative Dulcolax
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Pain Relief Advil Pain Reliever
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Sleep Aid Advil PM
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Retail Convenience Store Sheetz Convenience Store
Retail Department Store Kohl's Department Stores
Retail Discount Shoes Store DSW Shoes
Retail Gasoline Shell Gasoline
Retail Gift Basket Harry & David
Retail Hardware & Home Store The Home Depot
Retail Jeweler Tiffany & Co.
Retail Luxury Department Store Lord & Taylor Department Store
Retail Mass Merchandiser Target Stores
Retail Office Supply Store Staples Stores
Retail Off-Price Retailer Ross Dress For Less
Retail Pet Supply Store PetSmart Stores
Retail Pharmacy CVS Pharmacy
Retail Sporting Goods Store DICK'S Sporting Goods
Retail Value Store Dollar Tree
Retail Warehouse Club Costco
Retail South Region Grocery Store Publix
Retail Midwest Region Grocery Store Hy-Vee
Retail Northeast Region Grocery Store Wegmans
Retail West Region Grocery Store Costco (Groceries)
Retail Online Grocery Amazon Prime Pantry
Retail E-Retailer Amazon.com
Retail Online Department Store Kohls.com
Retail Online Mass Merchandiser Target.com
Retail Online Office Supplies Staples.com
Retail Online Computer Retailer BestBuy.com
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Tech Computer Manufacturer Hewlett-Packard (HP) Computers
Tech Consumer Electronics Samsung Home Electronics
Tech Digital Camera Canon Digital Camera
Tech Gaming Console Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4)
Tech Operating System Android
Tech Printing & Imaging HP Printing & Imaging
Tech Smartwatch Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch
Tech Tablet Computer Apple iPad Series Tablet
Tech Video Game Series Grand Theft Auto Video Games
Tech Wearable Fitness Tech Fitbit Fitness Trackers
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Telecommunications Mobile Network Verizon Mobile Network
Telecommunications Mobile Phone Samsung Galaxy Series Phone
Category Award Category 2015 Brand of the Year
Travel/Entertainment Cruise Line Royal Caribbean International
Travel/Entertainment Online Travel Service Hotels.com
Travel/Entertainment Value Airline Southwest Airlines
Travel/Entertainment Full Service Airline Delta Air Lines
Travel/Entertainment Economy Hotel Americas Best Value Inn
Travel/Entertainment Extended Stay Hotel Homewood Suites by Hilton
Travel/Entertainment Full Service Hotel Marriott Hotels
Travel/Entertainment Luxury Hotel Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Travel/Entertainment Mid-Market Hotel Hampton Inn & Suites
Travel/Entertainment Burger Restaurant In-N-Out Burger
Travel/Entertainment Casual Dining Restaurant Outback Steakhouse
Travel/Entertainment Chicken Restaurant Chick-fil-A
Travel/Entertainment Coffee & Quick Service Restaurant Krispy Kreme
Travel/Entertainment Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
Travel/Entertainment Italian Dining Restaurant Carrabba's Italian Grill
Travel/Entertainment Pizza Chain Pizza Hut
Travel/Entertainment Sandwich Shop Subway
Travel/Entertainment Sports League NFL (National Football League)

Harris Poll EquiTrend is based on a sample of 38,670 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online in English language between January 8 and February 2, 2015.  The survey took an average of 30 minutes to complete. The total number of brands rated was 1,410. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings.

Data were 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. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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