NEW YORK, June 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- PayPal -- followed closely by Amazon brands -- retains its Brand of the Year designation, leading mobile payment brands for the third consecutive year. However, up-and-coming brands Venmo (owned by PayPal), Square, and Apple Pay are making significant gains, according to new research from The Harris Poll's 29th annual EquiTrend Study, which measures brand health over time. Harris Poll's study reveals the strongest brands across the media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurant, technology, household and nonprofit industries based on consumer response.
The EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors -- Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration -- that result in a brand equity rating for each brand. Brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend "Brand of the Year" award for their respective categories. This year, more than 100,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 4,000 brands (including 64 financial services brands) across more than 450 categories. The full Harris Poll EquiTrend Brands of the Year list can be found at http://www.theharrispoll.com/equitrend-rankings/2017.
While established mobile payment brands PayPal and Amazon continue to lead -- buoyed by their online payment equity -- Venmo (+8.1), Square (+7.0), and Apple Pay (+6.7) show considerable brand equity increases among consumers overall, which is significant, since brand equity tends to resist movement.
"Financial services is a very difficult category for consumers to relate to, so it's no surprise that mobile pay and credit cards, which consumers use every day and see real, tangible benefits with, are the shining categories," said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at The Harris Poll. "Consumers' appetite for mobile pay is increasing, and as new mobile payment brands make inroads and familiarity builds, they could become significant threats to the more established brands."
Millennials Advance Mobile Payment Brands
Harris Poll's research indicates that millennials are familiar with a broad array of mobile payment brands (42% versus 19% among baby boomers), giving a boost to the category's overall brand equity. Additionally, younger generations (millennials and Generation X) are more connected to Amazon's mobile payment brands than they are connected with PayPal, and in general, have a higher perceived quality of the mobile payment category. Specifically, among millennials, PayPal and Amazon are challenged by Apple Pay and Square on Quality ratings.
"As these up-and-coming mobile payment brands gain momentum -- particularly among the all-important millennial consumer -- rooted brands like PayPal and Amazon Payments must continue to differentiate and leverage their master brands so they don't find themselves surpassed by fast risers in the category," said Sinopoli.
The 2017 Harris Poll EquiTrend Financial Services Brands of the Year
According to Harris Poll's research, while PayPal holds the Mobile Payment Brand of the Year title, Amazon's mobile payment brands, Amazon Payments (#3) and the discontinued Checkout by Amazon (#2) follow closely behind in the brand rankings. PayPal, benefiting from its history in the peer-to-peer and online space, leads all mobile payment brands in Familiarity strength and maintains a strong emotional connection with consumers.
"Amazon is well-positioned to become an even stronger competitor as it consolidates its two brands into one mobile payment powerhouse," said Sinopoli. "Checkout leaves the door open but the bar high for Amazon Payments to step in as the face of Amazon mobile pay. Meanwhile, PayPal's Familiarity ratings are so high that it's hard to tell how much of it is master brand legacy and how much is truly attributable to mobile pay. The company needs to ensure that its Familiarity transfers solidly from peer-to-peer and online to mobile, and continues to differentiate and innovate versus newcomers from powerful master brands."
Other Key Findings
Additional financial services findings include:
Payment cards (brand equity score 67.1) and mobile payment (brand equity score 63.3) are the only two financial services categories in the study's top 60 categories, ranked by brand equity scores. Payment cards is a perennial leader, with mobile payment as a fast riser. Banks and investment firms show modest movement.
While Visa dominates the payment card brand landscape on most measures, MasterCard is closing the gap in key measures including overall brand equity and brand momentum.
Of the top five banks (ranked by brand equity score), the top two leaders (CHASE Bank and Capital One) are national brands, while the rest are regionally based. BMO Harris makes its EquiTrend debut as Super Regional Bank Brand of the Year.
TD Ameritrade, Scottrade andFidelity are the top investment companies based on equity among millennials. Technology is key among this group and brands leveraging technologies have a stronger connection with this audience.
Changing life needs means millennials are demonstrating increased interest in financial services brands. While still a challenging category to connect with, financial services holds a category equity rating of 63 among millennials, compared to an equity rating of 59 among consumers overall.
The 2017 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is based on a sample of 102,617 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between December 30, 2016 and February 21, 2017. The survey took an average of 30 minutes to complete. The total number of brands rated was 4,052. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data was 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. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
The Brand Equity Index is the keystone to the EquiTrend program, providing an understanding of a brand's overall strength. A brand's Equity is determined by a calculation of Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration. Brand of the Year is determined by a simple ranking of brands.
The Harris Poll EquiTrend methodology has been validated by academic business experts in the Journal of Marketing Research (1994) and International Journal of Research on Marketing (2012).
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
About The Harris Poll Over the last five decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers' motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods.
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 Poll. All third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Use of such trademarks does not constitute or imply any sponsorship or endorsement.