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Supermarkets and food staples have a family feel

Stephan Shakespeare
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BrandIndex asks general questions about brands, but sometimes it&rsquo;s useful to look at more specific qualities. YouGov recently conducted research on the associations between brands and family values. The recent Family Brands report, conducted for advertising agency Isobel, suggests that association with family values is a&nbsp; useful differential by which we can measure different types of brands. Some brands are seen as sexy but distant, others as domestic and closer-to-home.<br />&nbsp;<br />Two groups emerged particularly well from this research: supermarkets and staple food brands. &nbsp;Marks &amp; Spencer finished top, as 30 per cent of respondents believed the brand &ldquo;promoted and supported family values&rdquo;. &nbsp;Other supermarkets fared well, taking up five of Isobel&rsquo;s top-ten spots, when measured across a matrix comprising respondents&rsquo; associations of the brands with family values, listening, caring, and social responsibility. Tesco just missed out on the top ten, placed thirteenth.<br /><br />Staple food brands can take encouragement that their brand-positioning is registering with consumers: one in four respondents saw Kellogg&rsquo;s as a promoter of family values, and <a href="http://www.warburtons.co.uk/lunch/recipe_ideas"; target="_blank">Warburtons</a>, Hovis, and Cadbury performed strongly. Regular BrandIndex &ldquo;stars&rdquo;, Apple, Google, and Nokia, fared poorly when respondents considered their family values, as the graph makes clear.<br /><br />However, there was also a warning to brands across all sectors: they need to be perceived to be listening more to their customers. Marks and Spencer was recognised as the &ldquo;best-listening&rdquo; brand, with one in five respondents citing it. Boots came in at (a distant) second place with 14 per cent. Domino&rsquo;s Pizza, Ryanair, and BMI were thought to be among the worst listeners, as a meagre one per cent of respondents recognised them as &ldquo;good listeners&rdquo;. For all Microsoft&rsquo;s Windows 7 advertising campaign on the London Underground &ndash; which stresses that user input is the defining feature of the Operating System &ndash; only six per cent of respondents identified Microsoft as a listening brand.<br />Stephan Shakespeare is chief innovation officer of YouGov.