This issue marks the return of the WWD100 brand awareness survey, which was last done in 2008. There have been numerous seismic changes in the apparel and accessories industries and in the world at large, not the least of which was a global recession affecting all aspects of commerce and consumer attitudes and shopping habits. Many familiar brands have withstood the challenges and placed among the 100 brands that American women know best.
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
As always, the brands that spend the most on advertising and marketing and have the widest distribution—largely in mass-retail channels—score the highest. But don’t count out the impact of sex, celebrity endorsement, a well-placed mention on the red carpet or even some controversial headlines to get a brand noticed.
This year, WWD commissioned its exclusive survey with Penn Schoen Berland, a Washington, D.C.-based market research firm. PSB sent an online questionnaire to a nationally representative sample of females, balanced to match U.S. Census data, age 13 to 64, with a minimum household income of $50,000. The survey contained a total of 1,008 pre-listed brands in nine categories, like sportswear, accessories, outerwear, etc. The respondents were asked to say whether they were “very familiar,” “somewhat familiar” or “not at all familiar” with the brands. The survey yielded 2,311 responses, and was fielded from Oct. 15 to 19. Results are projectable with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.91 percent.
The overall top 100 ranking is a measure of the percentage saying they were “very familiar” with the labels.
In the Top 10 categories, brands were ranked only against other brands in that category, again, using the three-level familiarity scale.
An aggregate score was used to determine the overall 100 for brands appearing in more than one category.
Two ties in this year’s survey make for a total of 102 brands in the top 100. Volumes listed are wholesale unless otherwise noted.