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Target garners top spot as valuable brand

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Target once again has taken the top spot as the retailer with the strongest consumer brand equity, according to the latest Harris poll.

This marked the second consecutive year Target has led the way in the "value retail" category, with an increasing gap noted between the company and runner-up Walmart, according to the "2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend" study. Target led the way with a ranking of 74.1, while Walmart had a ranking of 70.8. The industry average in the value retail category was 67.3.

Despite the fact that Target holds the No. 2 retailer spot in the United States, the study determined results by equity, consumer connection, commitment, brand behavior, brand advocacy and trust. The keystone to the program is equity, which provides an understanding of a brand’s overall strength and is determined by a calculation of familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.

“In difficult economic times, consumers look for value.” said Jeni Lee Chapman, EVP brand and communications consulting at Harris Interactive. “Target is seen as a retailer with strong brand equity especially when compared to its competition. As consumers consolidate where they choose to spend their paychecks, those retailers with the highest brand equity are going to obtain greater share of that spending.”

This year’s "Harris Poll EquiTrend" study was conducted online among 25,099 U.S. consumers ages 15 years and older between Jan. 11 and 27. A total of 1,273 brands were rated in 53 separate categories.

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Hy-Vee teams up with celebrity chef

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Supermarket chain Hy-Vee has brought in Australian-born celebrity chef Curtis Stone to develop recipes designed to put the fun in cooking at home, the company said Friday.

Stone, the host of “Top Chef Masters” on Bravo and an investor and mentor on NBC’s “America’s Next Great Restaurant,” will be featured in the chain’s television commercials, print ads and in-store marketing materials for the next two years.

“For a lot of people, putting together a great meal is the opposite of relaxing, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” Stone said. “With the right ingredients, the right tools and the right tips, everyone can make healthy, affordable meals their families will love. The recipes I’m developing for Hy-Vee are easy to prepare and serve, leaving families with more time to linger around the table and enjoy each other’s company.”

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Purina One goes ‘beyond’ pet food offerings

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Purina One has introduced a new line of pet food for dogs and cats that boasts meat as the No. 1 ingredient.

Purina One Beyond is crafted without wheat or corn, added fillers or artificial preservatives. The line includes two adult dog recipes: chicken and whole oat meal recipe, accented with carrots, tomatoes and apples, and lamb and whole barley recipe, accented with blueberries, sweet potatoes and spinach. The line also features two adult cat recipes: salmon and whole brown rice recipe, accented with cranberries, tomatoes and spinach, and chicken and whole oat meal recipe, accented with carrots, sweet potatoes and apples.

Purina One Beyond dog recipes are available in 3-lb., 15-lb. and 26-lb. packages. Purina One Beyond cat recipes are available in a 1-lb. recyclable carton, 3-lb., 6-lb. and 13-lb. packages. The products are available at grocery, mass and pet specialty retailers nationwide.

To support the launch of Purina One Beyond, one 60-second and two 30-second television spots will hit the airwaves through major national networks. To view the commercial, visit the Purina One Facebook page.

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