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    Consumers Big on Kisses: Harris Poll

    According to the 2010 results of EquiTrend, an annual brand equity study from global market research firm Harris Interactive, Hershey’s Kisses rated the highest of over 1,000 brands across 42 categories.

    According to the 2010 results of EquiTrend, an annual brand equity study from global market research firm Harris Interactive, Hershey’s Kisses rated the highest of over 1,000 brands across 42 categories. Several other comfort food brands also ranked high, among them M&Ms, Hershey Bar, Oreo Cookies and Snickers, with the remaining brands in the top 25 representing icons of quality within their respective categories, including Coca-Cola, Duracell, Kleenex and Hallmark.

    “Even in a time of economic turmoil, consumers remind us that those brands that have consistently delivered on their promise are those that are rewarded with long-term equity,” said Jeni Lee Chapman, EVP, global brand and communication consulting at New York-based Harris Interactive. “It’s been a tough year for marketers as they carefully manage their brand investments and strive to protect their long-term equity. The EquiTrend data indicates consistency and strength, despite the recession, for those brands that have not wavered from their promise.”

    The top 25 brands according to the study are as follows:

    1. Hershey’s Kisses Chocolate Candy
    2. M&M Plain Chocolate Candy
    3. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Candy Bars
    4. Google.com
    5. Duracell Batteries
    6. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Candy
    7. Heinz Ketchup
    8. Kleenex Facial Tissues
    9. Oreo Cookies
    10. Neosporin Ointment
    11. Cheerios Cereal
    12. Ritz Crackers
    13. Kraft Foods, Inc.
    14. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
    15. Campbell’s Soups
    16. Snickers Chocolate Candy
    17. Coca-Cola
    18. Sharpie
    19. Dawn Dish Detergent
    20. Johnson & Johnson
    21. Energizer Batteries
    22. UPS
    23. Hershey’s Chocolate Chips
    24. M&M Peanut Chocolate Candy
    25. Hallmark Greeting Cards

    The lowest-rated brands in the study were those of cigarettes, online dating sites, online universities and the financial sector. “A common theme for those brands that are suffering from a loss in trust will be their ability to connect with their customers in a relevant way — and that will require showing they are really listening to them, and are addressing their concerns and needs at both the product level and in how they market their products,” said Harris Interactive SVP, business and industrial Carol Gstalder.

    The EquiTrend study evaluates such measures as equity, customer connection, commitment, energy, brand behavior, brand advocacy, and trust. Equity provides an understanding of a brand’s overall strength and is determined by a calculation of familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.

    This year’s study was conducted online among 19,708 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over between Jan. 12 and Jan. 21. The total number of brands rated was 1,151. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands, and each brand received about 1,000 ratings.

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