Heinz Ketchup receives top marks in brand equity, says Harris study

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Harris Interactive today released the 2008 results of EquiTrend—a 28-year study of brand equity covering more than 1,000 brands and spanning 39 categories The study named Heinz Ketchup as No. 1 in brand equity.

The study said that Heinz Ketchup beat out other contenders like M&Ms, Hershey, Cheerios and Duracell in six base categories: brand expectations, distinctiveness, familiarity, purchase consideration, quality and trust.

The EquiTrend report also examined each category’s word of mouth marketing and identified certain demographic sub-groups that were most likely to participate in word of-mouth-marketing. For example, the restaurant category reportedly had high levels of word-of-mouth marketing.

“While there are many ways to strengthen the bonds between brands and their stakeholders, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the social networks to which stakeholders belong and how they operate, in order to proactively influence the spread of positive brand experiences and minimize the damage of negative experiences,” senior vice president of brands and communications consulting at Harris Interactive, Carol Gstalder, said. “This word-of-mouth marketing, combined with the historical brand equity tracking data in EquiTrend, provides a new way of looking at brands and their management in the context of a highly dynamic marketplace.”

Harris Interactive provides more EquiTrend information on brands and strategizing at its Web site, www.harrisinteractive.com/brand.

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