Veterans Day 2016: Giving More than Thanks?

NEW YORK, N.Y. – This Friday, November 11th, marks the annual observance of Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to showing appreciation for those who have served in the military. But have we forgotten to show our thanks and support beyond this one day a year?

There are many service organizations that dedicate either part or all of their mission in support of veterans.  These organizations provide educational, health-focused and transitional services to the brave men and women who have served their country.  Earlier this year, the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend study recognized Wounded Warrior Project as Disabled Veterans Association Brand of the Year.  The EquiTrend study covers non-profit brands servicing a variety of groups, however five of them specifically serve veterans as their primary purpose: Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America, USO (United Services Organization) and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars).

A recent decline in support

Measuring brands’ health over time, the EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors – Familiarity, Quality and Consideration – that result in a brand equity rating for each brand.   “Looking across non-profits regardless of their mission, we have seen a decline in consumer consideration; meaning the general population is not as likely to donate their time or money to non-profit organizations today, when compared to a year ago” said Aimee Vella-Ripley, Research Manager, Reputation and Public Release Research, Harris Poll.  “This holds true for non-profit organizations that serve veterans as well — we see declining consideration, despite stable awareness of the organizations themselves.”

Putting our money (and time) where our mouths are

In a Harris Poll from November 2015, 78% of Americans identified military officer as a prestigious occupation and 64% of adults say they would encourage a child to become a military officer. However, despite a clear awareness of many organizations that support veterans and the high esteem we hold for members of the military, donations of both time and money to causes that support them are dwindling. As we continue to think highly of our veterans, maybe this Veterans Day it’s time to put our money and time behind those encouraging words and show support beyond just a simple “thanks.” 





EquiTrend Study

The 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is based on a sample of 97,120 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between December 22, 2015 and February 1, 2016.  The survey took an average of 30 minutes to complete. The total number of brands rated was 3,837. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data was weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over based on age by sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

The Brand Equity Index is the keystone to the EquiTrend program, providing an understanding of a brand’s overall strength. A brand’s Equity is determined by a calculation of Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration. Brand of the Year is determined by a simple ranking of brands.

The Harris Poll EquiTrend Brand Equity Index has been academically vetted, showing that strong brand equity is associated with strong financial performance, even during a financial downturn, such as that experienced in 2007-2010.

Prestigious Occupations Harris Poll

This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between November 11 and 16, 2015 among 2,223 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #63, November 10, 2016

By Allyssa Birth, Senior Research Analyst, The Harris Poll