Harris Interactive: M&M first in brand equity among youth

NEW YORK — Harris Interactive on Thursday released the 2010 results of the first annual "Youth EquiTrend" study, which asked 8-to-24-year-olds to rate brands on several key elements of brand equity, including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.

"Today's youth are not just tomorrow's consumers; they are already consumers in their own right with their own money to spend,” stated Regina Corso, SVP youth and education researcher at Harris. “What companies need to remember is that if brand loyalty is built in these early years, that brand loyalty will remain for years to come. At this stage, the brands that resonate the most with youth are mostly ones that involve food — 6-of-the-top-10 are candy, snacks or restaurants."

M&Ms ranked first in brand equity, according to the study, while Google ranked second and is the only online organization among the top 10 brands overall. “As kids age, their tastes, and therefore their favorite brands, change with them,” Corso noted. “Tweens are all about Disney and Nick, as well as gaming, where teens add more technology to the mix. For young adults, the snack foods are still there, but technology takes an even stronger presence in their top 10.” 

Following are the complete “top 10” rankings:

Based on Equity Brands rated by all respondents
1 M&Ms 
2 Google 
3 Reese's peanut butter cups
4 Oreo
5 iPod 
6 Target 
7 Subway 
8 Hershey's milk chocolate
9 Doritos 
10 Pixar 

Based on Equity Brands rated by 8 to 12 year olds:
1 Nintendo Wii 
2 Doritos 
3 Oreo
4 M&Ms 
5 Disney Channel 
6 Nickelodeon 
7 Nintendo DS 
8 McDonald's 
9 Toys"R"Us
10 Cartoon Network 

Based on Equity Brands rated by 13 to 17 year olds:
1 Reese's peanut butter cups
2 iPod 
3 Google 
4 M&Ms 
5 Oreo
6 Subway 
7 Hershey's milk chocolate
8 Target 
9 Sprite 
10 Microsoft 

Based on Equity Brands rated by 18 to 24 year olds:
1 Google 
2 Facebook 
3 iPod 
4 Gatorade 
5 Target 
6 Subway 
7 Apple 
8 iTunes 
9 Reese's peanut butter cups
10 Oreo

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