Komen brand plummets from ‘gold standard’ to ‘trailing the pack’

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In the wake of last month’s Susan G. Komen for the Cure Planned Parenthood controversy, the leading breast cancer organization continues to feel pain and now a new Harris Interactive survey shows that its brand image has suffered significantly.

Harris Interactive reports that its EquiTrend study (EQ) found that the non-profit’s decision to defund, then reinstate, funding for abortion provider Planned Parenthood has caused “steep drops” in the “brand health” of the foundation.

According to Harris, in the study’s 23-year history, Komen’s 21 percent drop in so-called brand equity — or a brand’s value — is one of the most dramatic plummets Harris has seen, second only to Fannie Mae in 2009.

Since its inclusion in the EquiTrend study in 2008, Komen has ranked among the top two “most equitable non-profit organization” in its category. This year it ranked No. 56 out of 79 non-profit brands, falling 54 spots from its No. 2 spot last year.

“Since it was first surveyed in EquiTrend, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has in many ways represented the ‘gold standard’ among non-profits measured in our study, consistently reporting high scores for quality, the willingness to recommend and, most importantly, trust. Now, Komen finds itself near the bottom of the pack on all of these items,” Robert Fronk, executive vice president and corporate reputation practice head at Harris Interactive, said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Komen has not been meeting its race goals. In Los Angeles, the Race for the Cure fell far short of its fundraising goal of $1.3 million with just $950,000. (RELATED: More on Susan G. Komen for the Cure)

The Southern Arizona Komen race fell short of its 11,000 participant goal with 7,267 racers and raised just $560,927 — well below its $700,000 goal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Harris poll surveyed 37,500 consumers on brand familiarity, brand favorability and their likelihood of doing business with that brand.

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