A new Harris Poll EquiTrend study out this week shows Target, not Walmart, as the Value Retail Brand of the Year. That would be bad enough news for Walmart given the company’s prospects in the United States are closely tied to its reputation for low prices, but this is the second year in a row Target has been named the top Value Retail Brand and the gap with Walmart even widened this year.
“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.”
So how did Harris arrive at the conclusion?
The firm conducted an online survey among 25,099 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over between Jan. 11 and 27. A total of 1,273 brands were rated in 53 separate categories with each respondent asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings with the data then weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over on the basis of age sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and income. Data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online.
The study sought to evaluate such things as equity, consumer connection, commitment, brand behavior, brand advocacy and trust. According to Harris, the keystone to the study is equity, which provides an understanding of a brand’s overall strength and is determined by a calculation of familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.