NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- America has gotten soft. Consumers' expanding waistlines are no longer just measures of vanity; obesity is driving a national health crisis. But the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study shows that when Americans make commitments to get healthy and look for a formal weight management program, Weight Watchers, the Weight-Loss Plan Brand of the Year, is the most likely candidate.
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"Weight Management is one of the most challenging categories from a brand health perspective," says Joan Sinopoli, Senior Vice President and Senior Consultant with the Brand and Communications practice at Harris Interactive. "Prospective program participants may feel, rightly or wrongly, that they have been 'behaving badly' and can't control their behavior, so there is a significant amount of negative personal psychology at play. The interesting thing about Weight Watchers is that it somehow leaves people feeling good about joining."
Weight Watchers is the only brand to earn an equity score that exceeds the category's average score, with its unparalleled performance driven by very high levels of Familiarity. It places in the top 25 percent of all brands rated across the entire study, and can boast a much higher Quality rating than any of its competitors.
Yet, category-wide brand issues affect Weight Watchers too. All weight management brands measured in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study suffer low levels of Usage Consideration and fail to fit well with consumers' self-images.
Fortunately, Weight Watchers excels in emotionally connecting to consumers. In fact, its score on the Emotional Connection metric is more than double that of any other weight management brand surveyed. In addition, its Likelihood of Recommendation score gives some indication of what drives Weight Watchers' overall success. Whether or not consumers have used the brand successfully, they are very likely to recommend Weight Watchers to family members or friends, largely because it is ubiquitous—or highly visible—in popular culture.
And Weight Watchers enjoys other positive indicators of Brand Momentum, which is a measure of consumers' perceptions of the future strength of a brand. Although only 38 percent of respondents have actually used Weight Watchers and only 13 percent think it is a fit for them personally:
- 46% consider the brand to be a leader, placing it in the top 10% of all brands measured in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study.
- 36% say the brand is ubiquitous, placing Weight Watchers in the top 15% of all brands measured in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study.
- 45% believe the brand is well-positioned for the future, placing it in the top 15% of all brands measured in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study.
- 53% believe Weight Watchers is a popular brand, placing it in the top 25% of all brands measured in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study.
"Weight Watchers has successfully leveraged a marketing platform built on testimonials and word-of-mouth to extend its popularity well beyond its current membership," notes Sinopoli. "And as word-of-mouth has moved online, the power of personal testimonials has been amplified. Our own social media monitoring suggests that Weight Watchers has successfully transitioned word-of-mouth into word-of-network with far more success and far more positive sentiment than any other weight management program."
So whether consumers need to lose a few pounds to boost self-image or keep a commitment to maintain a healthier lifestyle, they think of Weight Watchers. And, as this Harris Poll EquiTrend study demonstrates, the company has built a foundation that should help it remain America's top-rated weight management solution well into the future.
About Harris Poll EquiTrend®
Harris Poll EquiTrend is a leading Brand Equity Tracking study conducted by Harris Interactive that measures and compares brand health for more than 1,500 brands. The study was conducted online from January 31 through February 20, 2012 and analyzes the responses of over 38,500 consumers on key measures of brand health –including how well the public knows a brand, how positively they think of the brand and their consideration to do business with or donate to a brand. Each brand is rated 1,000 times among respondents who are familiar with the brand. Harris Interactive has conducted its EquiTrend study regularly since 1989, and can offer yearly trended data from 2005. The Equity Score, a key take-away from EquiTrend, has been validated against financial performance by Georgetown University.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public polls.
The Harris Poll EquiTrend study results disclosed in this release may not be used for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes without the prior written consent of Harris Interactive.
Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
For a complete listing of all the brands covered in the study, contact Corporate Communications at 212-539-9600 or [email protected].
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
SOURCE Harris Interactive