The older a brand is, the stronger its identity tends to be — and this includes Apple — according to a new survey of 550 marketing executives to be published in the July issue of “The Hub Magazine.”
The survey presented marketers with 30 pairs of brands and asked them to select the one they deemed to be stronger. Respondents chose the older brand as having the stronger identity 70% of the time.
“The results are surprising, since popular culture worships youth and marketers rarely miss an opportunity to promote what’s shiny and new,” say Tim Manners, editor of The Hub Magazine.
This was the third year the magazine fielded the survey, and the pattern held true in the previous two years, Manners adds. He speculates that the results might be partly attributed to the Hub’s senior-level audience, which skews older.
“It might also be that older brands simply have more credibility because of their longevity,” he says.
Each of the 30 matchups was presented in a particular context. For example, as an “iconic car,” the Volkswagen Beetle (1938) bested the Mini Cooper (1959), 70%-30%. There were some exceptions: Zappos (1999) zapped Apple (1976) on “customer service,” 54%-46%.
To wrap up the survey, participants were asked to name the all-time most powerful brand identity, and as usual, the older brand won. This year, as in the past two, the choice was Coca-Cola, this time by 44%, followed by Apple, at 21%. For Coke, the prevailing adjective was “ubiquity” while for Apple it was “innovation.” Runners-up were: Nike (1964); McDonald’s (1940); Disney (1901); and Starbucks (1971).
An executive summary of results will be published in the July edition of The Hub Magazine, which is available at Barnes & Noble and Borders, and as an iPad app in the iTunes store. The entire issue will be devoted to exploring issues surrounding brand identity, including an exclusive cover story interview with Joseph Tripodi, the chief marketing and commercial officer of Coca-Cola.