trying to strengthen their image by
using brand-name components may want to focus on the tires
and stereos, where most consumers look for names they know
and trust, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2002
Global Component Branding StudySM released recently.
percent of respondents in the United States, Japan and Europe
believe it is important to have branded tires and 53 percent
feel the stereo brand is important.
not surprising that tires and stereos are the leading components
consumers indicate they would pay to upgrade," said Frank
Forkin, partner at J.D. Power and Associates. "Adding
a tire brand that consumers recognize and view favorably or
a stereo brand they equate with superior sound quality can
positively impact the automotive brand, the component brand
and the consumer's purchase decision."
the importance consumers place on branded automotive components
differs from region to region.
recalls in North America have certainly raised consumer awareness
of tire brands, with more than four out of five U.S. consumers
placing high importance on knowing the brand of tire on their
new vehicle," Forkin said. "Conversely,
fewer than one in five Japanese consumers place any importance
on tires being branded."
study measures the relative strength of a brand based on consumer
awareness, familiarity and overall image of each brand. Michelin,
Pirelli, Goodyear and Bridgestone have the highest brand strength
among the 17 tire brands included in the study. Although Michelin's
brand is the strongest in
the U.S. and European regions, Bridgestone is the clear leader
among Japanese consumers.
Sony, Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood and Blaupunkt have the highest
brand strength among the 26 car stereo brands included in
the study. Geographic differences are more pronounced across
audio brands, as Bose is strongest in
the United States, Sony in Europe and Pioneer in Japan. Other
car stereo brands such as Mark Levinson, Bang & Olufsen,
Nakamichi, McIntosh and Harman/Kardon, have a strong, positive
impression among consumers, but relatively low awareness.
high-end brands still have a place in co-branding partnerships
with automakers, but automakers need to target the right consumers
by carefully selecting the vehicles they place these brands
in," Forkin said. "A brand represents the quality
and value associated with a manufacturer, but brand
recognition and what that brand stands for varies from country
today's global market, a brand that may be known for quality,
safety or prestige in one country may be viewed as cheap or
unreliable, maybe even unknown, in another."
also goes beyond traditional automotive component brands.
Automotive manufacturers are increasingly associating their
vehicles with established brands that reflect personal lifestyle,
such as Eddie Bauer, Nautica and Coach. The study also investigated
other potential co-branding
opportunities with 36 designer and household brands. Casual
designer and tool brands such as Craftsman, Levi's, Black
& Decker, Dockers and Eddie Bauer brands are mentioned
often by U.S. consumers as brands that best reflect their
personal style. In Europe, consumers are more likely to associate
with high-end designer brands such as Calvin Klein and Armani.
Japanese consumers relate better with brands such as Nike,
Levi's, Polo Ralph Lauren and The Gap.
realize that a vehicle is a reflection of the person who drives
it and that it's not just transportation," Forkin said.
"People want a vehicle that is an extension of their
personality and lifestyle."
2002 Global Component Branding Study, based on feedback from
15,857 consumers in the United States, Japan and Europe, is
designed to better understand customer perception of brands
to assist automotive manufacturers
and suppliers build their brands and co-branding relationships.
The study measures brand awareness, familiarity, impression
and value, and also helps determine consumer awareness of
popular designer and non-designer brands that might be considered
for co-branding by automakers.
J.D. Power and