CoreBrand ranking shows the high-tech sector (naturally) gaining more familiarity in 2013, as did the credit card industry. Familiarity, of course, can often be a double-edged sword.
▶ Consumer Staples Maintain High Visibility: Brand familiarity cuts both ways for PR professionals and communicators. Case in point: CoreBrand’s familiarity ranking. “To be on this list is not always a good thing,” said Jim Gregory, CEO of CoreBrand. “You need to take the listings as a tool to understanding why familiarity is up or down for certain companies and industries and what the underlying trends are driving the familiarity.” For example, MasterCard climbed to no. 5, from no. 29 in 2008, while Visa jumped to no. 7, from no. 31 during the same period. “They’re out there in the field, communicating with their constituents,” Gregory said, referring to how financial sector reps have worked hard to improve brand familiarity in the last few years. By contrast, JCPenney climbed to no. 10, from no. 21 in 2008, but for the wrong reasons, Gregory said, pointing to the crisis that engulfed the retailer last year after CEO Ron Johnson, who was recruited from Apple to shake up the departments store’s stodgy image, got sacked after just 17 months.
Next week: The flip side of familiarity.
This article originally appeared in the April 14, 2014 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.