Toyota (before recall), Kellogg’s, Kraft and McDonald’s increase in Hispanic brand perception

A study conducted pro bono by Encuesta, Inc. in November 2009 compared how U.S. Hispanics and non-Hispanics perceived brands available in the U.S. marketplace, specifically which brand they thought as “best overall,” “most trustworthy,” “cares most about the community,” and “best in advertising or promotions”. The current findings are compared with the findings from a similar study conducted in February 2005 by Encuesta, Inc.

The findings show that Toyota is the “best overall” brand in 2009 according to U.S. Hispanics (13%) and non-Hispanics (12%) (Note that the study was conducted prior to the recent vehicle recall). This represents a change over 2005 since Toyota received fewer mentions then among Hispanics (9% of Hispanics mentioned it as the “best overall” brand in 2005).

Besides Toyota, brands that are up in the “best overall” category in 2009 among Latinos include Kellogg’s (5% in 2009 vs. 2% in 2005), Kraft (3% vs. 1%), and McDonald’s (3% vs. < 1%).

Among non-Hispanics, the brands that received more mentions as “best overall” are Honda (7% in 2009 vs. 3% in 2005) and Levi’s (3% vs. 1%).

Brands that are more likely to be reported as “best overall” in 2009 vs. 2005 among both Hispanics and non-Hispanics include Apple (3% in 2009 vs. < 1% in 2005 among Hispanics; 7% vs. < 1% among non-Hispanics), General Motors/GM (4% vs. 1% among Hispanics; 3% vs. 1% among non-Hispanics), and Verizon (3% vs. 1% among Hispanics and non-Hispanics, for each sample).

A noteworthy change is seen for Sony, the “best overall” brand of 2005 according to U.S. Hispanics. Only a total of 9% of Hispanics reported the brand as “best overall” in 2009 compared to 17% in 2005. Still, the brand is the second most frequently mentioned brand among Hispanics along with Ford (9%).   Ford also is the second “best overall” brand among non-Hispanics as a total of 10% consider it as such.

Among Hispanics, other brands that are reported less commonly in 2009 compared to 2005 are Colgate which is mentioned by only 4% in 2009 compared with 9% who mentioned it in 2005, Tide (3% in 2009 vs. 8% in 2005), Nike (5% vs. 8%), Panasonic (2% vs. 7%), and Kenmore (2% vs. 4%).

Between Hispanics and non-Hispanics, there are some apparent differences in the relative strength of some brands. While Chevrolet (8%), Nissan (5%), and Colgate (4%) are among the top “best overall” brands among Hispanics, these brands are reported less often by non-Hispanics (2% for Chevrolet and 1% for Nissan and Colgate, for each brand). Another interesting finding is that Apple was mentioned by 7% of non-Hispanics as the “best overall” brand, while only 3% of Hispanics did so.

“This study demonstrates how current Hispanic marketing and advertising leaders are reaping the rewards of their significant and continued investment” said Martin G. Cerda, President of Encuesta, Inc.

The study also finds that Walmart is up notably in several categories among Hispanics relative to 2005. The brand is reported significantly more often as being “most trustworthy,” (8% in 2009 vs. 5% in 2005) “cares most about the community,” (18% vs. 11%) and “best advertising in advertising or promotions” (10% vs. 6%). In fact, it is the top brand in the category of “most trustworthy” and “best in advertising or promotions” among Hispanics; top brand in the category of “cares most about the community” among both Hispanics and non-Hispanics.