Brand equity is made up of an average of factors that include momentum, consideration, quality and familiarity. These factors also reveal extra information about the particular ways in which a brand is appealing to Gen Z: for example, high “quality” numbers indicate that Gen Z thinks a brand’s products are good quality, while high “familiarity” and “consideration” numbers could mean Gen Z is just starting to learn about the brand.
According to Harris Poll CEO Will Johnson, this increased familiarity and brand equity with Gen Z comes as brands “continue to invest in partnerships, channels, and activities closer aligned to (this generation’s) experience.”
Below, some key takeaways from the poll.
New media strategies pay off for Lexus and Hyundai
Lexus, the Toyota-owned luxury brand, topped the list, showing that its TikTok micro-influencer partnerships and e-sport sponsorships are paying off, said Johnson. The brand has rolled out several initiatives to reach younger consumers, moving its media spend away from TV and investing in platforms such as TikTok as well as through music and gaming. Moves have included a partnership with fashion collective RTFKT to create a Lexus-inspired shoe. Lexus even built a car especially for gamers (only one was made, but it led to valuable PR). It also created an original song, “No Ceiling,” to put in one of its ads.
The brand is also working with NBC’s Peacock streaming service this year to place its Lexus NX in its revamped “Bel-Air” series. Lexus characterized Gen Z as “the future of the luxury vehicle market” in an email to Ad Age.
Hyundai, which placed 17th in the poll, has used the metaverse to let younger audiences take drives on Roblox. In 2020, the automaker also jumped into a partnership with South Korean boyband BTS.
'Doggface' and Kanye score for Ocean Spray and Gap
Ocean Spray, which claimed the poll’s second spot, “continues to ride the wave of popularity from the organic viral hit on TikTok,” said Johnson. In 2020, the brand struck a deal with TikTok user 420doggface208, whose real name is Nathan Apodaca, after a video of Apodaca skating to a Fleetwood Mac song and drinking the brand’s juice went viral. Ocean Spray’s CEO saw his Twitter followers double in 48 hours after he recreated the video on his own skateboard. The brand, which has been around for almost a century, subsequently partnered with Apodaca for a TikTok campaign during the Super Bowl.“We know the Gen Z customer look(s) for brands to be unapologetically authentic,” an Ocean Spray representative told Ad Age this week.