The Harris Poll, an annual survey of public attitudes toward major brands, named Sony as America’s ‘best brand’ for the third year running. The Japanese giant has has never occupied a position lower than third place since the poll was launched in 1994 – an achievement matched by no other brand.

The remainder of the top ten (with 2001 rankings in brackets) are:

2. Dell (-)
3. Ford (2)
4. Kraft (-)
5. Coca-Cola (6)
6. General Electric (3)
7. Pepsi- Cola (-)
8. Tide (-)
9. Honda (-)
10. General Motors (10)

IBM, Hewlett Packard, RCA and Microsoft – all listed in last year’s top ten – failed to make the grade this year. Harris comments that this may mirror the fact that much of the glamor has drained from the electronics industry since the bursting of the dotcom and techno-brand bubbles.

The poll underscores the powerful relationship between corporate reputation and brand image. Eight of the top ten brands (Kraft and Tide are the exceptions) are also companies. A majority of the 2,050-strong poll sample deemed “the reputation of, and what you know about, the company that makes that product or service” [to be] very important”.

The two exceptions to this belief were Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, where less than half of those who chose them as among the best brands felt that what they knew about the company was ‘very important.’

The poll was conducted online coast-to-coast between June 20 and 26, weighted for age, sex, race, education, income and region.

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff