A Quick Brand Perceptions Study

Last week, we surveyed 102 working professionals on the subject of brand perception.

We included nine of the largest brands in the United States, and asked respondents to rate their perception of each. Then we asked other questions to learn more about our respondents, to identify trends that correlate with varying levels of brand perceptions across the list.

The brands we included:

• Apple
• Calvin Klein
• Nike
• Old Spice

• Procter & Gamble
• Starbucks
• Target
• Victoria’s Secret

We had no specific method for the brands we chose. We included major brands only, and ones that may reveal some yet-unidentified differences between different kinds of people.

To qualify for this survey, respondents had to be between 25 and 64 years old, employed full-time, earning more than $40,000 per year (household income), and live in the United States. The sample was split evenly between males and females, and it reflects the balance of working professionals in the United States as regards region and age (within the previously specified age group). The survey was conducted online on October 2, 2019 by PeopleFish analysts.

The Most Positive Brand

Depending on how you look at the data, either Apple or or Target is the most positively-perceived brands included in this study.

Apple: 52% of respondents report a Very Positive perception of Apple, and 76% at least a Somewhat Positive perception. There is no significant difference between how males and females view Apple, but age is negatively correlated here—only 38% of respondents over 45 have Extremely Positive perceptions of Apple, compared to 60% of respondents under 45.

Target: 44% of respondents report a Very Positive perception of Target, and 82% report at least a Somewhat Positive perception. Females (10%) are twice as likely as males (5%) to be Neutral about Target. And as with Apple, age is negatively correlated here—50% of respondents under 45 have Extremely Positive perceptions of Target, compared to 34% of respondents over 45.

The Most Negative Brand

The NFL is the most negatively perceived brand included in this study, though overall perceptions are still generally positive. 7% report a Very Negative perception of the NFL, and an additional 9% report a Somewhat Negative perception.

Perceptions of the NFL don’t vary much by age, but do vary by gender. 50% of males have a Very Positive perception of the NFL, compared to just 27% of females. But females don’t have significantly more negative perceptions of the NFL—25% of females are simply neutral about the brand.

The Most Polarizing Brand

Nike and Starbucks are the most polarizing brands included this study.

47% of respondents have a Very Positive perception of Nike, whereas 14% have a Somewhat or Very Negative perception. When asked about Starbucks, 46% of respondents have a Very Positive perception, compared to 12% who have a Somewhat or Very Negative perception.

Starbucks sees an especially strong negative correlation with age. Just 7% of respondents under age 45 have a negative perception of Starbucks, compared to 18% of respondents over age 45.

Full Results

Brand awareness and perceptions are valuable metrics for any business—as useful for startups as for the major brands included in our study. Knowing how consumers view your brand, and/or other companies in your industry helps to hone marketing and messaging, and gives entrepreneurs a data-driven method for deciding how to engage their target audience.

To launch a brand awareness survey for your company, fill the form below.