Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tapping into Brands College Students Trust Most

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Want to know what brands college students trust the most? I came across this article on Media Daily News by Erik Sass that references the 2009 Alloy Media + Marketing's College Explorer survey.

The survey gives a snapshot into the college-age demographic’s most trusted brands. During the month of April, 1,521 college students were polled by Harris Interactive.

According to the survey, Johnson & Johnson, Apple and Sony are among the ‘trusted’ brands. However, when students were asked about brands they associated with ‘happy’ the only brand that came up again was Apple. So I gather a ‘trusted’ brand may not necessarily be thought of as a ‘happy’ brand? I’m not even sure what it means to be a ‘happy’ brand but I’m assuming that was the point of these questions – for students to form their own opinions and rate brands accordingly.

Sass reports the study findings, “Following Apple on the list of "happy" brand associations were -- in order -- McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Target, Wrigley and Sony (tied), Walmart, Dove and Hershey. On the "trusted" list, Apple was followed by Colgate, Microsoft and Coca-Cola (tied), Toyota, Nike and Bank of America (tied), and Target and Dell (tied).”

In my opinion, Apple does a great job of advertising and marketing. I think many of us can still remember the fun Ipod commercials featuring the black silhouette people grooving to their jams. It’s also interesting to note that Bank of America is on the ‘trusted’ brands list despite the economic times we are facing. The brands chosen are diverse but seem to make sense considering the demographic group.

Other survey questions focused on spending decisions in an attempt to pinpoint changes brought on by the economy. Interestingly enough, “the group's discretionary spending power has actually increased, jumping 37% from four years ago, and 5% from last year to $56 billion.” But only 35% had optimistic outlooks on the economy improving during the next year.

I wrote this blog to give a different insight on my own age demographic group. I thought this survey revealed some interesting facts about corporate brands and served as an interesting follow up to my recent blog post about corporate reputations and brand management.

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