GLOBAL: The logos of some of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world aren’t recognised at all by consumers, according to a study that also notes how even some long-established and well-known companies appear to be losing ground with certain demographics.

GraphicSprings, an automated logo design business, surveyed 24,000 participants from Europe, America and Asia asking them whether they recognised the logos of the top 200 corporations around the world (in terms of sales) and if they could associate the logo with the products and services the company offered.

Coca-Cola scored 100, with Ford (99.2), Sony (99.2), Apple (98.8) and Walt Disney (98.8) making up the top five.

At the other end were the People’s Insurance Company (China, 0), Banco Bradesco (Brazil, 0), Sberbank (Russia, 0.4), JBS (Brazil 0.4) and Banco de Brasil (Brazil, 0.4).

There were no respondents from Russia or Brazil, which explains the showing of brands from these markets at the lower end of the table, but China was represented and even these consumers didn’t recognise the People’s Insurance Company.

More generally, it was evident that the top 20 Chinese corporations were virtually unrecognisable in the United States, despite the fact that four of them are among the most profitable companies worldwide. By contrast, 71% of Asian participants recognised the top 20 American corporations.

“With the United States-China trade war at its most volatile to date, these results paint a very interesting picture about the recognition and perception of profitable companies in both nations,” commented Evan Fraser, Head of Marketing at GraphicSprings.

“It would be very interesting to run this same poll again in ten years, and see if there are any major changes,” he said. “If China wins the trade war, then corporate recognition will most likely rise around the globe while American companies may get left behind, especially if the Chinese Government successfully negotiates trade deals with Europe and Canada.”

The study also segmented recognition by age group and found that some companies are losing market ground with the younger generations. For example, Johnson & Johnson had a rating of 100 with US Generation X (born 1965-79), 90 with US Xennials (1975-85) and just 75% with Millennials (1980-94).

Company structures further complicate the picture: Alphabet, for example, has the second highest market value at US$579.5bn and scored only 8.3, but most people would recognise the logo of its Google subsidiary.

Sourced from GraphicSprings; additional content by WARC staff