"Not the Best" Retail Brands - Customer Survey Results

Consumers Say Costco, Zappos and Saks Are Below Average Retail Brands

Reprinted with permission from DollarGeneral.com

The number of US retailing brands that are "not the best," is much higher than the number of "best" retail brands, according to the survey results of consumers in 2015.  Each year Harris Interactive (a subsidiary of the Nielsen ratings experts) asks nearly 40,000 customers over the age of 14 to rate 40 randomly selected brands based on their knowledge of and experience with the brand.  

There were 138 retailing brands that consumers rated as the "best" in 2015, and 165 retailing brands that they rated as "NOT the best."   It's worth noting that the "not the best" brands are not necessarily "worst" brands, but rather just brands that are "below average" for Familiarity, Quality, and Consideration.

 

These three qualities - Familiarity, Quality, and Consideration - combine to create what Harris Interactive calls "Brand Equity." And it is Brand Equity that keeps brands relevant, customer relationships loyal, and financial performance strong in any economic conditions, Harris Interactive says.

In fact, Georgetown University has already validated a correlation between EquiTrend "below average" brand ratings and below average financial performance. Based on that Georgetown University validation, Harris Interactive claims that there is statistical proof that EquiTrend results are a better predictor of stock market performance than Interbrand's annual financially ranked brands.

Each year brand consultancy Interbrand assigns a monetary value to global retail brands, which is a well-known and well-respected comparison of brands in the retail industry.  In the latest Interbrand rankings, Family Dollar, Marshalls, Sam's Club, and Target were ranked high.

 According to Harris Interactive, these same retail brands are "not the best" and therefore their recent financial performance should have been "not the best."  Turns out, Harris Interactive is correct.  

What makes "best" results of these two popular brand studies different? One word. Customers.

Despite what retail analysts and "experts" think, Costco, Zappos, Cadillac, and Saks are "below average" brands from a consumer point of view.

 This is just a few of the surprises that are uncovered  when you dare to ask customers for their opinion.about retail brands that are commonly considered to among the "best."   

Most brand studies are conducted, compiled, and analyzed by branding experts. But consumers aren’t very interested in methodologies, spreadsheets, and predictions. 

So when the results of the annual EquiTrend survey differ from other well-known brand studies, it's because the survey creators at Harris Interactive only consider the opinions of real people who have real knowledge and real experience with retail brands.  This is the only thing that yields "real" results, the EquiTrend survey makers say.  

What follows is a list of U.S. retail industry brands that are considered to be "below average" based on consumer ratings of the brand, compared to the ratings of other retail brands that are direct competitors. This multi-year comparison reveals the brands that consumers have considered to be below average for many years.  These "not the best" retail brands should have delivered "not the best" financial results in these years as well, according to Harris Interactive. 

This "Not the Best Retail Brands" list is arranged in alphabetical order, not in any kind of ranking order.

The years underneath each company name indicates the years that retailing company was judged to be "below average" by consumers surveyed.

Not the Best Retailing Brands: 2012 - 2015 Comparison

1-800-Flowers
-2015

99 Cents Only
-2015

A&P (Northeast)
-2015
-2014

Ace Hardware
-2015
-2014

Acme (Northeast)
-2015
-2014

Acura
-2015
-2014

Albertsons (South)
-2015
-2014

Albertsons (West)
-2015
-2014

Aldi (Midwest)
-2015
-2014
Aldi (Northeast)
-2015
-2014
Aldi (South)
-2015
-2014
Aldi (West)
-2014

Applebee's
-2014

ARCO ampm
-2014

AutoTrader.com
-2015
-2014

Bahama Breeze
-2015
-2014

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill
-2015
-2014

Bass Pro Shops
-2015

Belk
-2014

Bi-LO (South)
-2015
-2014
Bi-LO (West)
-2014

Big Lots
-2015
-2014

BJ's Wholesale Club
-2015
-2014

BJ's Wholesale Club Groceries (South)
-2015
-2014
BJ's Wholesale Club Groceries (West)
-2014

Blimpie
-2015
-2014

Bloomingdale's
-2015 
-2014

Bojangles
-2015
-2014

Bonefish Grill
-2015

Boston Market
-2015
-2014

BP Convenience Store
-2015
-2014

Bruegger's Bagels
-2015
-2014

Buick
-2015
-2014

Burlington Coat Factory
-2015
-2014

Cadillac
-2015
-2014

Caribou Coffee Shops
-2015
-2014

Carl's Jr.
-2015
-2014

Carlton Greeting Cards
-2015
-2014

Cars.com
-2015
-2014

CDW.com
-2015
-2014

Champs Sports
-2014

Checkers/Rally's
-2015
-2014

Chevron Food Mart
-2015
-2014

Chrysler
-2015
-2014

Church's Chicken
-2015
-2014

Cici's Pizza
-2015
-2014

Circle K Convenience Store
-2015
-2014

Costco Groceries (Midwest)
-2014
Costco Groceries (South)
-2014

Costco Pharmacy
-2015

Del Taco
-2015
-2014

Dell.com
-2015
-2014

Denny's
-2015
-2014

Dillard's
-2015
-2014

Dodge
-2015
-2014

Domino's Pizza
-2015
-2014

Dunham's Sports
-2015
-2014

Eastern Mountain Sports
-2015

eBay Motors.com
-2015
-2014

El Pollo Loco
-2015
-2014

FTD
-2015

Family Dollar Store
-2015
-2014

Famous Footwear
-2015

Fiat
-2015
-2014

Finish Line
-2015
-2014

Firestone Complete Auto Care
-2015
-2013

Food 4 Less (West)
-2015
-2014

Food Lion (South)
-2015
-2014

Foot Locker
-2015
-2014

Fred Mayer Jewelers
-2015
-2014

FreshDirect.com
-2015

Frys.com
-2015

FTD
-2014

Giant Food Stores (Northeast)
-2015
Giant Food Stores (South)
-2015
-2014

GiftBaskets.com
-2014

Gilt.com
-2015

Google Express
-2015

HPShopping.com
-2015
-2014

HSN.com
-2015
-2014

Hardee's
-2015
-2014

Hyundai
-2015
-2014

Ingles Markets (South)
-2015
-2014

Jack in the Box
-2015
-2014

Jaguar
-2015
-2014

Jared the Gallery of Jewelry
-2015
-2014

jcpenney
-2015

Jewel & Jewel Osco (Midwest)
-2015

Jimmy John's
-2015
-2014

KFC Restaurants
-2015

Kay Jewelers
-2015
-2014

Kia
-2015
-2014

Kmart
-2015
-2014

Kmart Pharmacy
-2015
-2014

Lady Food Locker
-2015
-2014

Land Rover
-2015
-2014

Lincoln
-2015
-2014

Little Caesars Pizza
-2015
-2014

Littman Jewelers
-2015

Lord & Taylor
-2014

MINI Cooper
-2015

Marshalls
-2015
-2014

Mazda
-2015
-2014

McCafe
-2015
-2014

MC Sports
-2015
-2014

Menard
-2015
-2014

MINI Cooper
-2014

Mitsubishi
-2015
-2014

Modell's Sporting Goods
-2014

Moe's Southwest Grill
-2015
-2014

Neiman Marcus
-2014

NeimanMarcus.com
-2015
-2014

Office Depot
-2015

OfficeDepot.com
-2015
-2014

OfficeMax
-2015
-2014

OfficeMax.com
-2015
-2014

Olive Garden
-2014

Overstock.com
-2015
-2014

PCConnection.com
-2015
-2014

PCMall.com
-2015
-2014

PETCO
-2015

Pathmark (Northeast)
-2015
-2014

Payless ShoeSource
-2015
-2014

Peapod.com
-2015

PepBoys Automotive Service Centers
-2015
-2014
-2013

Pick 'n Save (Midwest)
-2015
-2014

Piggly Wiggly (Midwest)
-2015
-2014
Piggly Wiggly (South)
-2015
-2014

Popeyes
-2015

Porsche
-2015

Price Chopper (Northeast)
-2015

QVC.com
-2015
-2014

Quiznos
-2015

BP Convenience Store
-2015
-2014

Ralph's (West)
-2015
-2014

Rite Aid Pharmacy
-2015
-2014

Romano's Macaroni Grill
-2015
-2014

Ruby Tuesday
-2015

SAVE-A-LOT (West)
-2015
-2014

Saks Fifth Avenue
-2015
-2014

Sam's Club
-2015
-2014

Sam's Club Groceries (Midwest)
-2015
-2014
Sam's Club Groceries (Northeast)
-2015
-2014
Sam's Club Groceries (West)
-2015
-2014

Sam's Club Pharmacy
-2015
-2014

Sears
-2015
-2014

Sears Automotive Centers
-2015
-2014
-2013

Sears.com
-2015
-2014

Seattle's Best Coffee Shops
-2015
-2014

Shaws/Star Market (Northeast)
-2015
-2014

Shoney's
-2015
-2014

ShopNBC.com
-2014

ShopHQ.com
-2015

Shoprite.com
-2015

Smart & Final (West)
-2015
-2014

Sonic America's Drive-In
-2014

Speedway Convenience Store
-2015

Sports Authority
-2014

Stater Bros. Markets (West)
-2015

Steak 'n Shake
-2014

Store.Sony.com
-2015
-2014

Subaru
-2014

Sunoco (APlus Convenience Store)
-2015
-2014

Taco Bell
-2015
-2014

Target Groceries (Midwest)
-2015
-2014
Target Groceries (Northeast)
-2014
Target Groceries (South)
-2015
Target Groceries (West)
-2015
-2014

Target Pharmacy
-2015
-2014

Target.com
-2014

Tesla
-2015
-2014

TGI Fridays
-2015
-2014

TigerDirect.com
-2014

Tim Horton's
-2015
-2014

Tops Market (Northeast)
-2015
-2014

True Value
-2015
-2014

TrueCar.com
-2015

Volkswagen
-2015
-2014

Volvo
-2015
-2014

Vons
-2014

Walmart Groceries (Midwest)
-2015
Walmart Groceries (Northeast)
-2014
Walmart Groceries (South)
-2015
Walmart Groceries (West)
-2015
-2014

Walmart.com
-2015
-2014

Walmart Pharmacy
-2014

Walmart Tire & Lube Express
-2014

Weis Markets (Northeast)
-2014

Whataburger
-2015

White Castle
-2015
-2014

Wine Country Gift Baskets
-2015
-2014

Winn-Dixie (South)
-2015
-2014

Zales Jewelers
-2015

Zappos.com
-2015