Bush's image is like a Dunkin Donut to Kerry's Starbucks

NEW YORK - US President George W Bush is downmarket like Dunkin' Donuts and Kmart, while John F Kerry is elitist like Starbucks and BMW, according to research.

According to 1,262 people interviewed in a US survey, Bush was also likened to brands ranging from IBM, Ford and Bud Light because of their reliable and solid nature.

Kerry was associated with Heineken and Apple because of the high-quality, young, hip connotations associated with the brands.

Bush was also likened to McDonald's because "it is bad for you", and Kerry to US discount hotel chain Motel 6 because it lacks substance.

The survey, carried out by by Penn, Schoen & Berland and Landor Associates, concluded that the Bush brand is more established while Kerry's brand has greater scope to change voters' perceptions.

Overall, however, Landor director Allen Adamson believes the Kerry brand is stronger than Bush's.

"The Kerry brands are ones that tend to occupy newer more solid territory -- these brands have a lot of potential and are at or approaching the height of their success. In contrast, the Bush brands are more mature category leaders that, while proven, must guard against being perceived as irrelevant," he said.

Research firm Penn, Schoen & Berland has more than 30 years' experience in using consumer opinion to provide clients with a competitive advantage.

Landor is a brand strategy and design consultancy whose clients include BP, FedEx, Microsoft and Delta Airlines.

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