Global market research firm, Harris Interactive ( has released the 2010 results of the first annual Youth EquiTrend study, which asks 8-24 year olds to rate between 98 and 125 brands on several key elements of brand equity including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration. Apple’s iPod ranked number five overall.

The top 10 brands, based on equity, are M&Ms, Google, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Oreo’s, iPod, Target, Subway, Hersey’s Milk Chocolate, Doritos and Pixar.

“Today’s youth are not just tomorrow’s consumers; they are already consumers in their own right with their own money to spend,” says Regina A. Corso, SVP, Youth and Education Research at Harris Interactive. “What companies need to remember is that if brand loyalty is built in these early years, that brand loyalty will remain for years to come. At this stage, the brands that resonate the most with youth are mostly ones that involve food – six of the top ten are candy, snacks or restaurants.”

The Youth EquiTrend study evaluates “equity,” which provides an understanding of a brand’s overall strength and is determined by a calculation of familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration. The 2010 Youth EquiTrend study was conducted online in August, among 5,077 U.S. 8-24 year olds, including: 740 interviews among 8-9 year olds; 860 interviews among 10-12 year olds; 879 interviews among 13-15 year olds; 644 interviews among 16-17 year olds; 1,086 interviews among 18-21 year olds; and 868 interviews among 22-24 year olds.