Blaze, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Krispy Kreme win big in Harris Poll

Blaze Pizza, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A and Krispy Kreme took home top honors this year in the 30th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend study of favorite brands.  Here's the breakdown for the limited-service restaurant category by food type: 

  • Pizza: Blaze
  • Mexican: Taco Bell
  • Ice cream/Fro yo: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Shop
  • Coffee shop: Krispy Kreme
  • Chicken: Chick-fil-A
  • Burgers: Five Guys Burgers & Fries

The study measures brand health over time — including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration — and assigns a brand equity rating for each brand. More than 77,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 3,000 brands across more than 300 categories to provide data determining winners in each category. 

A news release about this year's study indicates that results show an emerging trend in consumer behavior around the push to simplify and align with known and trusted brands. While brand score averages remained stable overall, one-quarter of the brands studied in 2017 showed a significant decline in scoring this year. 

The researchers said this indicates that consumers are becoming less connected to a large set of brands, while growing closer to a smaller, select group. This trend is marked by decreasing brand awareness and perception of quality in this year's study, the release said. In fact, only 10 percent of brands studied show significant equity increases from last year. 

"The EQ study reveals that brand equity is no longer guaranteed by size or media impressions," Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema said in the release. "This is actually a time when being 'big' is code for being the establishment. As private label and the popularity of craft products rises, brands are now differentiated on their values, personal connection and their ability to build community."

Other study results that might be of particular interest to restaurant leadership include the selection of PBS as the top TV network and YouTube as the top social media channel.  

Topics: Burger/Steak/BBQ, Customer Service / Experience, Marketing / Branding / Promotion

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