M&Ms ranked first in brand equity (including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration), according to the first annual Youth EquiTrend study of 8-24-year-olds, conducted by Harris Interactive. Google ranked second and is the only online organization among the top 10 brands overall.
"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."
Top 10 Rankings include: M&Ms; Google; Reese's peanut butter cups; Oreo; iPod; Target; Subway; Hershey's milk chocolate; Doritos; and Pixar. Based on Equity Brands rated by 8 to 12 year olds, the winners are: Nintendo Wii; Doritos; Oreo; M&Ms; Disney Channel; Nickelodeon; Nintendo DS; McDonald's; Toys"R"Us; Cartoon Network. Based on Equity Brands rated by 13 to 17 year olds, winners include: Reese's peanut butter cups; iPod;Google; M&Ms;Oreo; Subway; Hershey's milk chocolate;Target; Sprite; and Microsoft. Based on Equity Brands rated by 18 to 24 year olds, favorites include: Google; Facebook ; iPod; Gatorade;Target; Subway; Apple; iTunes; Reese's peanut butter cups; and Oreo.
"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."