NEW YORK, July 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Home Depot is the 2016 Hardware and Home Brand of the Year for the fourth consecutive year, according to The Harris Poll® 2016 EquiTrend® Study. The 28th annual study reveals the strongest brands in nearly 100 categories across the media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurants and household industries, based on consumer response. Other retail leaders include Macy's, Nordstrom, Kohl's.com, Cabela's, Best Buy, DSW Shoes and TJ Maxx.
Measuring brands' health over time, 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 97,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 3,800 brands (including more than 200 retail brands), across nearly 500 categories. The complete list of Harris Poll EquiTrend Brands of the Year can be found at: http://www.theharrispoll.com/equitrend-rankings/2016. Additional information can be found at: www.theharrispoll.com/equitrend-information.
"Time and time again, our research has shown that retailers with strong brand equity dominate a large share of shoppers' wallets," said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at Nielsen, which owns The Harris Poll. "Retail especially is a brand image-driven category. When consumers connect with your brand, you are likely to see more visits and sales. The Harris Poll Retail Brands of the Year are doing a superior job of connecting with their customers in a heavily-saturated, competitive retail landscape to keep them coming back."
The Home Depot Four-Peats; Hardware and Home Category Takes Retail Crown
This year's Harris Poll study marks the fourth consecutive year The Home Depot has been named Hardware and Home Brand of the Year. Compared to other award industries assessed, retail ranks high on the brand equity scale, placing just behind the restaurant industry. Meanwhile, within retail, Hardware and Home tops all other retail categories.
"The Harris Poll shows that most retail categories have above average brand equity scores," said Sinopoli. "Hardware and Home has the strongest equity rating, and baby boomers and GenX shoppers–consumers who are investing in home improvements and moving up from starter homes–are driving that. To maintain their strong brand equity, Hardware and Home retailers will need to understand the increasing number of millennials entering the market–consumers who are more likely to make their rentals into longer-term nests, or who are able to satisfy their pent-up need to become first-time home buyers."
From Luxury to Off-Price, Consumers Shop Around
While same store sales for several apparel retailers have been less than promising, Nielsen research shows that a majority (70%) of U.S. consumers made an apparel purchase in the past six months, and most of those purchases have been made at a physical store location1. This year, Harris Poll has named Macy's Department Store of the Year, Nordstrom is Luxury Department Store of the Year and TJ Maxx is Off-Price Retailer of the Year.
"Macy's may be the classic department store brand, woven into our popular culture from parades to movies," said Sinopoli. "Its business challenges have not yet impacted consumer sentiment toward the brand. It will be interesting to see if the brand's strong equity can sustain the business during this transformative time."
With so much information at consumers' fingertips, Nielsen research shows that many shoppers turn to retailers' online and mobile channels as important sources of information before they make a purchase in the store's physical location2. "Design, trend and price are all in play when shopping for apparel," said Sinopoli. "This puts brands like Nordstrom and TJ Maxx in the same competitive context from time to time."
Kohls.com Tops Online Retailers
Looking at retailers' online counterparts, Kohls.com marks its fourth consecutive year as Harris Poll's Online Department Store of the Year.
"Many brick and mortar stores are doing a good job translating their formats to an online presence, but Kohl's is best of the best," said Sinopoli. "And while brick and mortar is the dominant retail sales channel today, Nielsen research shows that e-commerce will drive the retail industry forward, projecting online sales growth of 12 percent3 between now and 2020, higher than all other retail channels. Shoppers naturally expect retailers to deliver a consistent brand image and seamless shopping experience, in-store, online and via mobile."
The 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is based on a sample of 97,120 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between December 22, 2015 and February 1, 2016. The survey took an average of 30 minutes to complete. The total number of brands rated was 3,837. 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 Brand Equity Index has been academically vetted4, showing that strong brand equity is associated with strong financial performance, even during a financial downturn, such as experienced in 2007-2010.
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. Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive, Inc. (which operates The Harris Poll) in 2014. Contact us for more information.
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.
1 Nielsen Retail Channel Track 2016
2 Nielsen Retail Channel Track 2016
3 *Nielsen TDLinx & Nielsen Analytics; CAGRs (compounded annual growth rates – dollar basis).
4 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).
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SOURCE The Harris Poll