2006 ImagePower Newsmaker Brands Survey Shows Americans Embrace Brands With A One-Stop Shop Experience, Highlights...

Bill Briggs

Web-based brands prevail in survey by Landor Associates and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates; Still no hope for Paris Hilton, Britney Spears or Nicole Richie

NEW YORK, Dec. 29-Results of a national survey examining Americans’ perceptions of some of the high-profile brands to make headlines this year was released today by Landor Associates, a leading branding and design consultancy, and research firm Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates. The 2006 ImagePower(R) Newsmaker Brands Survey identifies which noteworthy brands were winners and losers in 2006 according to American consumers, as well as their predictions for top brands in 2007.

“With the multitude of brand choices available to consumers, this survey is an important indicator of consumer activity and its correlation to social behavior,” said Allen Adamson, Managing Director of Landor Associates’ New York office and author of BrandSimple: How the Best Brands Keep it Simple and Succeed. “Companies that can provide a clear and consistent brand to consumers, as well as harmonize with social changes will find themselves in a promising position, as illustrated by top-ranking brands such as Google, Las Vegas, Target and iPod.”

Thirteen brand categories were included in the survey, including personalities, consumer technology, Internet, sports, destination cities, luxury brands and retail. The results highlight the top 20 winning and losing brands for 2006 and predicted winners and losers for 2007.

Now in its fourth year, the ImagePower(R) Newsmaker Brands Survey is conducted in December amongst a representative sample of the American population. The results provide considerable insight into consumer perceptions of brands and social trends.

Key trends found in the survey results include:

* Mass Appeal. The top winning brands for 2006 and 2007 (Google, Las Vegas, Yahoo!, Target, eBay), know no boundaries of age, race or income but provide affordability, personalization and a one-stop-shop experience for all consumers, serving as great equalizers in their respective categories.
* “Steady As She Goes!” A large number the 2006 winning brands were also winners in the 2005 study (Google, Las Vegas, iPod), signaling the key to successful branding lies in a simple message, delivered consistently over an extended period of time in order to build loyalty and truly resonate with consumers.
* Celebrities with Substance. Celebrities who made the winners’ list (George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey) are more substantive and philanthropic in their actions than the ones perceived for the second year in a row to be losers (Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie).
* Social networking sites fail to connect. Brands like MySpace.com, eHarmony.com and Facebook.com were all ranked losers in 2006-a year where being able to create and distribute user generated content ruled-as exemplified by YouTube and Yahoo!

“The rise of the Web 2.0 craze in 2006 has brought a renewed sense of optimism in the Internet and technology, as well as a quest to provide simplified access to non-traditional forms of communication, entertainment and lifestyle,” said Mitchell Markel, Senior Vice President of Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates. “This shift has even transcended the realm of the Internet to destinations like Las Vegas and retail stores like Target, where there truly is something for everyone. People want to have it all, but at a price tag personalized for them.”

About Landor Associates Currently celebrating its 65th anniversary, Landor Associates is one of the world’s leading strategic brand and design consultancies. Founded by Walter Landor in 1941, Landor pioneered many of the research, design and consulting methods that are now standard in the branding industry. Partnering with clients, Landor drives business transformation and performance by creating brands that are more innovative, progressive and dynamic than their competitors.

Landor’s holistic approach to branding is a balance of rigorous, business- driven thinking and exceptional creativity. Its work spans the full breadth of branding services, including brand research and valuation, brand positioning and architecture, naming and writing, corporate identity and consumer packaging design, branded experience, brand equity management, internal branding and digital branding.

With 22 offices in 17 countries, Landor’s current and past clients include some of the world’s most powerful brands, such as BP, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Diageo, Emaar Properties, FedEx, Frito-Lay, Hyatt Hotels, the City of Hong Kong, LG Group, Microsoft, Numico, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Telefonica.

Landor is part of WPP, one of the world’s largest global communications services companies.

About Penn, Shoen & Berland Associates Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates (PSB) has nearly 30 years of experience in leveraging consumer opinion to provide clients with a competitive advantage, or more simply -- providing clients with Winning Knowledge(TM).

PSB brings an extensive network and unique knowledge base to bear on communications issues. PSB uses experience and global reach to deliver unrivaled business and political insights.

PSB executes polling and message testing services in over 70 countries for Fortune(R)500 companies and major political campaigns to develop brand positioning, guide successful advertising campaigns, generate favorable publicity, and advise in crisis management decisions.

Note: A summary presentation of the survey is available to members of the media upon request.

Source: Landor Associates CONTACT: Mindy Romero, Manager, Public Relations of Landor Associates, +1-212-614-5261, or mindy_romero@landor.com; or Jennifer Bennett, Senior Account Executive of Cohn & Wolfe, +1-415-365-8528, or jennifer_bennett@cohnwolfe.com, for Landor Associates


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