When it comes to gasoline retailing and what brand names mean to consumers, some of us may say we're loyal to a particular brand for one reason or another, while others say "Whoever's got the lowest price is the one that gets my business!"
Certainly all of those retailers want to make the right impression to gain your business and your trust, but some are making a better impression than others.
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, as Americans speed through their busy days, many shop at convenience stores with some that are stand-alone and many that are retail gas stations. In the inaugural year for the "Convenience Store Brand of the Year", Speedway takes the top spot, followed by Arco am/pm and 7-Eleven.
NACS noted that while consumers are most familiar with 7/Eleven, Speedway's top scores for "Quality" and "Purchase Consideration" led to its highest ranking in this category.
Harris reports that with the prominence of 2012's retail gasoline price volatility, where Americans go to gas up is more important than ever. This year marks the first year that Harris included Costco in its "EquiTrend" retail gas category. Costco takes the top spot, debuting as the "Gasoline Retail Brand of the Year."
Costco supplants Speedway which was the top-ranked gasoline retail brand for the past three years. Other brands scoring above average in brand equity include Hess, Shell, Sam's Club, Sunoco, Arco, ExxonMobil and Chevron. While Shell scores highest on consumer familiarity, Costco Gasoline boasts the highest "Quality and Purchase Consideration" among its competitive set.
Speedway, based in Enon, OH, operates 1,350 stores primarily under the Speedway brand name. Speedway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. Speedway operates in seven states throughout the Midwest, including Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Costco Club stores (572 nationwide) are operated by the Costco Wholesale Corp. headquartered in Issaquah, WA.