While the bigger 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 great 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 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 #5 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.

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.

Several prominent outdoors companies made the list including Timberland (2.8%), The North Face (2.7%), and Columbia (2.1%), which finished 11th, 13th, and 14th, respectively. 

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 to list the brands in which they would leave the retailer to find it elsewhere.  The responses were unaided.

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 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.  SportsOneSource made every effort to control the demographics to best represent the U.S. population, but Internet surveys generally tend to skew to older, more Caucasian, better educated and higher income households.

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 or to reserve your copy, contact The SportsOneSource Group at 704.987.3450  or e-mail to: research@SportsOneSource.com.