Corporate Eye

Corporate Brand Mind Survey from Harvard University

Harvard University’s Department of Psychology is conducting some interesting research related to corporate brand reputations, and you can participate by taking a 10-minute survey on the Mind Survey website.

The tests are broken down into 19 categories related to emotional triggers, and each test references the same collection of corporate brands . 

The 19 surveys included in the Mind Survey project focus on:

  1. Harm
  2. Memory
  3. Planning
  4. Guilt
  5. Familiarity
  6. Punishment
  7. Support
  8. Pleasure
  9. Communication
  10. Morality
  11. Investing
  12. Pain
  13. Desire
  14. Action
  15. Self-control
  16. Worth
  17. Fear
  18. Liking
  19. Accountability

The corporations included in the Mind Survey are:

  • Phillip Morris
  • Whole Foods
  • Google
  • Starbucks
  • Toys R Us
  • Exxon
  • Enron
  • Playtex
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Wal-mart
  • TWA
  • Apple
  • Disney

I’m curious to see the results of this study, and I’ll be interested to learn more about the methodology, including why some defunct companies were included.  More importantly, I think an interesting brand test would be to take the 19 words used by Harvard University to help identify consumers’ perceptions of brands and apply them to your own brand.  How does your brand rate in consumers’ minds?  How does it stack up against the competition?  Is your brand the one that’s, “more capable of putting plans into action” (action) or “more capable of exercising self-restraint over desires or impulses” (self control)?

The blogosphere is buzzing about the Mind Survey.  Give it a try when you have some free time.  You’ll get a ranking of your responses immediately along with a comparison of your responses to the average respondent.  You can follow the link to take the Mind Survey and start rating corporate brands!

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.