While larger brands can spend more marketing dollars to build brand awareness and fuel sales growth, consumers have shifted their allegiance to smaller brands and new categories like toning at a high rate over the last year.  That observation, among many others that indicate how consumers feel about brands, is just one finding in the SportsOneSource 2010 Brand Strength Report.

Brands like Converse, Skechers, Puma and Jordan found increased support from consumers that signaled the ultimate in brand commitment when they indicated in a recent survey that they would leave a retail store to buy the brand elsewhere if the store they were shopping in did not carry the brand they wanted.  Converse and Jordan, both owned by Nike, Inc., leapfrogged over a number of other brands into the top ten brands that consumers found to be non-negotiable brands.  The Converse brand, which was ranked number five in the non-negotiable brand responses, saw 4.8% of Brand Strength survey respondents indicate that they would leave a retail store if the store did not carry the brand. Jordan moved into the #7 spot with 3.3% indicating they would leave a store if the brand was not available.


The SportsOneSource Brand Strength survey was conducted in late November utilizing a third-party Internet panel provider.  A total of 4,003 responses were collected providing information on over 70 brands.  Respondents were age 13 and up. 


Survey respondents were first asked whether or not they would leave a retail location or refuse to make a purchase if a specific brand they were looking for was out of stock or unavailable.  The respondents that said they would leave the retailer were then asked (un-aided) to list the brands that would prompt them to leave the retailer if the brand was not available. 


Overall, Nike (26.5%) led the field with more than twice as many respondents mentioning the brand than the next highest choice. New Balance (12.7%) came in second, with almost twice as many mentioning it over third place Adidas (7.7%).                                               


Reebok rounded out the top five brands with 6.3% of consumers signaling a willingness to leave a store if the brand was not available.  Skechers, a brand bolstered over the last year by its leadership in the toning trend, was ranked #6 overall.  Skechers saw its non-negotiable percentage increase to 4.3% of respondents versus 2.9% in the 2009 report.  Among females, that percentage rose to 6.8%, up from 4.8% in the 2009 report.


Nike took the top spot among the different racial demographic segments, but the numbers were quite different for each. Nike was mentioned by 22.4% of Caucasian survey respondents while 33.5% of Hispanics selected the brand and nearly half of African-Americans (46.6%) said they would not compromise on Nike when shopping. 


Among African-Americans, Nike dwarfed the next highest on the list, with nearly three-fold as many respondents choosing it over Nikes Jordan sub-brand, which came in second with 17.2% of responses mentioning the brand.  New Balance came in second among Caucasians and didnt finish far behind Nike with 13.6% selecting it.  Hispanics chose Adidas as the next non-compromising brand with 13.1% of the vote.


The responses to the non-negotiable brand question is one key element of the Brand Strength Index, which was originally formulated in early 2009 by The SportsOneSource Group in an effort to more effectively measure the overall consumer perception of a specific brand.  Each brand measured was tested across four main criteria, with those criteria each individually weighted to reflect their importance in the overall indexing formula. 


All four criteria were then combined using a proprietary formula to generate a single Brand Strength Index for each qualifying brand.  
Look for all the background on an individual brands strength index score in the SportsOneSource 2010 Brand Strength Report.  The Brand Strength Index is just one component of the SportsOneSource 2010 Brand Strength Report. The Brand Strength Report is available now and is available in various formats, including report segments based on age, race, gender and household income.  Specific Brand Strength Index reports have been developed for 72 brands.


The results of the survey can be projected to the U.S. population with a margin of error of +/- 1.5 percentage points.


To find out more about the report, contact The SportsOneSource Group at 704.987.3450 or e-mail at: research@SportsOneSource.com.