Feeling the love

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Adweek has an interesting post on its site about recent global research done to determine the most-loved brands. And it seems that love, as the old saying goes, is fickle, or at least can be pretty surprising.

The world just loves Walt Disney. Well, the House that Mouse Built is everywhere these days – online, in games, on TV and even satellite radio. Plus, of course, the ubiquitous branded merchandise and theme parks and movies. 

But here’s something you might not expect: Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway comes in a notch above Starbucks at 95. Really? That’s a shocker. And right behind the coffee giant is that warm and fuzzy, much-loved...Quest Diagnostics? 

That’s flat-out strange. Even stranger, beating all of them out at number 92, is heavy machinery manufacturer, Cat. As in Caterpillar. The people who make bulldozers and backhoes.

Another goodie: multinational infrastructure giant Siemens is 84, three ahead of Mattel and just a notch behind CBS.

Harley Davidson beat out Levi Strauss. My head is spinning.

But maybe my favorite, being a B2B guy, is seeing the list rounded out by CSX at 100. Freight trains obviously turn a lot of people on, even if it takes them forever to get past whatever road you’re on that’s crossed by their tracks. 

So what can we make of this as marketing types? Maybe just one thing.

Whenever you think you know your target audience cold, and think you know precisely what they’ll react to, think again. They might surprise you.