NEW YORK, March 24, 2009—Brandchannel, the world’s leading online exchange about branding, has announced the winners of its second annual Brandjunkie awards. The 2009 awards not only recognize the brands with the greatest impact, but also how they impact our behavior and view of the world.
“The prevailing sentiment from our readers this year is that brands are dynamic and subject to the same economic, political and even spiritual challenges that exist today. These are important times for brands. Given the widespread sense of consumer skepticism regarding everything from greedy CEOs to greenwashing, brands must be proactive and buttress existing faith in their equity by being competent, transparent and diligent when exercising their brand attributes and values,” said Jim Thompson, editor of brandchannel.com.
General Motors was selected as the most controversial brand in 2008. Brandchannel readers expressed a mix of bemusement and anger regarding how a brand so iconic, historically innovative and culturally relevant could become so aloof, arrogant, myopic and inept.
Apple, always a prominent force in branding surveys, attracted its usual legions of lovers and haters. The brand received top honors for its sleek packaging and interactive retail environment while also taking the number spot as the “most inspiring” brand of 2008. However, that praise was tempered by concerns about CEO Steve Job’s health and how his changing role as the face of Apple may impact the brand.
Tiger Woods won the competition for celebrity with the “best relationship with a brand” as his competitive spirit, humble demeanor and aura of success bolstered his affiliations with brands such as Accenture, Gatorade and Nike. Not a single woman made the top five.
Despite some vocal detractors, Pepsi won the award for the “most effective rebrand” while Facebook was recognized for its effective viral marketing—though it was also the fifth most controversial brand in 2008 due to its muddled policies on consumer generated content.
The USA rode the wave of goodwill following President Obama’s election and received the most votes for a nation brand that “improved its appeal” in 2008. China, with its impressive Olympic Games, came in second.
Snuggie, the wearable blanket, won the “quirkiest name” award.
Demonstrating that readers remain skeptical of greenwashing, this is the second year that no brand stood out as “truly making an effort at being green and eco-friendly.”
Rankings are based on the answers of more than 4,300 brandchannel readers from across the globe—from China and Brazil to Uruguay and the USA. Conducted online from February 20 to March 6, 2009, the brandjunkie awards survey asked respondents to identify one brand that best fit the criteria for each of the 11 survey questions. A shortlist of brands was not given—any brand has the opportunity to be recognized.
For complete listings of the 2009 brandjunkie awards survey winners and losers and accompanying analysis, visit www.brandchannel.com.