updated 12:30 pm EST, Thu December 29, 2005
iPod top brand in 2005
Apple's iPod is the leading US brand along with Google, eBay, Amazon.com and Yahoo!, according to a new survey in which internet and technology brands dominated. Conducted by branding and design consultancy firm , the US national survey examined Americans' attitude toward some of the top brands that made headlines in 2005. The 2005 ImagePower Newsmaker Brands Survey identified the high-profile brands in consumer's minds as well as which brands suffered, and what Americans think their future holds for 2006. The results, from a mid-December survey, found that the release of the Shuffle, Nano and iPod video in 2005 combined with effective branding efforts of the company helped Apple continue its domination of the MP3 market with the iPod.
Other technology brands in the top 20 include DVR, Xbox 360 and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.
"Brands make a powerful impact on people, especially in today's world of ever-increasing consumer choice," said Allen Adamson, Managing Director of Landor Associates in New York. "This survey highlights the importance that brands play within many aspects of our lives, and reveals some interesting trends, such as the dominance of technology and Internet-based brands. Companies that take a proactive approach to managing their brands are in a much better position to earn respect from their customers, as exemplified by the top-ranked brands on the list."
The results also showed that Reality TV programs are "out," while TV dramas are back "in." Reality shows "Survivor" and "The Apprentice (Donald Trump)" were named among the top 20 losing brands in 2005, while dramas such as "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" were named among the winning brands.
"2005 has been a very interesting year -- we're seeing a new sense of optimism in the winning brands. People see themselves in the brands they choose, and this year technology brands have prevailed, with iPod and Google topping the list, and Xbox coming on strong. People are in a mood to have fun -- Las Vegas is the top city destination, and they're turning away from confrontational reality shows like 'Survivor' and 'The Apprentice,'" said Michael Berland, CEO of Penn, Shoen & Berland, one of the firms that help conduct the brand survey.
According to the companies, the research identified the top 20 winning and losing brands for 2005, and offers predictions for their performance in 2006. "By surveying a representative sample of the population, the survey offers significant insight into brand perceptions and trends for the upcoming year."
Celebrity, car losers
Britney Spears, Howard Stern and Donald Trump are all deemed "losers" this year, but are all making money with their brand names. Britney Spears has a top-selling perfume, Howard Stern has a $500 million deal with SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Donald Trump continues to grow his brand empire. On the other hand, Oprah Winfrey earned tremendous positive appeal and placed third on the 2005 winning brands list. According to results, Oprah continues to generate positive buzz through her giveaways, book club, magazine and various successful extensions of her brand.
The survey also found that while SUVs continue to be top-sellers in the U.S., hybrid cars win the branding battle, as the Ford Escape hybrid makes the winners list and the Hummer ranks No. 6 on the losers list. "With the rise in gas prices and increased sensitivity to the environment, drivers realize the importance of hybrid cars and car manufacturers are responding by offering sleeker, more popular models in hybrid form."