top of page
  • Strategic Vision

Genesis More Refined than Mercedes? Strategic Vision’s Brand Equity Index™ Explains Why

San Diego, California: For the first time, Strategic Vision (SV) announces the results of its Brand Equity Index™ (BEI). BEI provides critical insights into an automotive brand's health and the potential power with new-vehicle buyers, both explaining current sales and predicting future success. This exciting new index comes from the consumer's voice, both among brand owners and owners of competitive brands.

As rated by owners, the Genesis brand creates the strongest value-emotion connection to Confidence by being a Refined, Smart Choice. That connection of Genesis owners to the brand is a reliable indicator of future advocacy and loyalty. However, owners of Mercedes-Benz competitors rated the Mercedes brand as delivering the highest Confidence and Refinement. Essentially those who know and own a Genesis love the luxury refinement the brand offers while others in the luxury segments still maintain Mercedes as the leader. According to Strategic Vision founder, Dr. Darrel Edwards, “When measuring the emotional DNA or power of a brand it is essential to take into account the brand’s emotional equity among those who own the brand and those who do not, as they are often different for each group.” The current non-owner perceptions of Mercedes-Benz help explain current sales, while the experience of Genesis owners shows a clear opportunity for future success. “And we believe Genesis can be a strong luxury contender in the future,” adds Dr. Edwards.

The Brand Equity Index is the only measure of the value-emotions that consumers associate with each brand. BEI incorporates the voice of new-vehicle buyers who are asked to rate automotive brands — both of those they purchased and of those they did not — in three key areas that ultimately add up to the overall BEI score. The first key area is in the “believed brand Quality” which is often seen as brand reliability and future durability. The second area is “willingness for future consideration” based on brands they would “definitely,” “might,” or “would not” consider as a future purchase. The final section focuses on identifying which brand value-emotions are connected to brands and considers what the brand stands for among both owners and non-owners. These values start with foundational values such as perceived Safety, Trust and Confidence and move to the higher value-emotions such as Fun, Prestige and Refinement.

“With BEI, you can easily see which brands will have the strongest sales today, such as Honda and Toyota, as well as which brands will increase their market share tomorrow, such as Genesis and Subaru as their owners advocate and invite others to learn more about what their brands stand for,” says Chris Chaney, Senior Vice-President of SV. “And this is especially true today as automotive companies are scrambling to find sales in this COVID-19 environment we are currently living in. Those brands that stand for the right values will make the most sales today and tomorrow.”

While Honda, Toyota, Lexus and Mercedes lead in their BEI price categories, examining how the brands faired in delivering the key values provide both intuitive as well as surprising results. For example, Volvo is seen as the best brand that stands for Safety by both owners and non-owners of the brand. For owners, Ram offers the strongest Pride for owners than any brand, while Lexus is seen as standing for both Comfort and being the Smart Choice over all other brands.

BEI results and a sample of associated metrics are as follows:

Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards explains how each brand’s equity leads to future sales, and whether this equity varies among different groups such as by region or ethnicity. “The stronger the brand equity, the more people will seek you out and consider you early in the purchase process. Furthermore, brand equity can ‘fill the gaps’ that the actual product may fall short in. For example, if a model doesn’t seem as reliable as a competitor, the brand equity can fill that gap and win the sale, even if a competitor is better in reliability. For example, we have seen in quality metrics that Tesla usually ends up at the bottom. But most simply do not care as the product and brand stand for so much more. This is why Tesla generates the positive news it does today,” Edwards concluded.

Responses from more than 25,000 new vehicle buyers who purchase a vehicle in the 2019 – 2020 timeframe were used to calculate the Brand Equity Index™. Strategic Vision has calculated an annual Brand Equity Index internally annually since 1995.

Since its incorporation in 1989, Strategic Vision has studied consumer and constituent decision-making for the widest variety of clients, including most auto manufacturers, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Procter and Gamble, and most advertising agencies. Its unique expertise is identifying consumers’ motivational hierarchies, including the values that shape perceptions and capture the customers’ emotional responses and drive behavior. The firm’s in-depth Discovery Interviews and ValueCentered Surveys provide comprehensive, integrated, and actionable outcomes. For further information or interview requests, please contact Alexander Edwards or Christopher Chaney at 858.576.7141, or visit



bottom of page