By Sarah J. Heim

SAN FRANCISCO—A recent study conducted by marketing shops Liquid Agency and Neale-May & Partners found that 80 percent of respondents “strongly agree” that the economic downturn has hurt technology brands.

Alfredo Muccino, creative director at San Jose, Calif.-based Liquid Agency, said he was disappointed by the finding. “We believe in brands and believe that brands enable people to go through tough times,” Muccino said. “What this really meant to us is that technology companies haven’t quite got branding down yet–the concept of branding [for them] is a little younger than in other industries.”

In the study, aptly titled the “Bruised and Battered Brands Poll,” public relations was identified as the most effective way to market and create demand for technology brands in a tight economic climate. Customer relationship management and brand advertising were second and third respectively.

The study also found a close correlation between CEOs and their brands in the technology industry. For example, two out of three CEOs voted most effective at embodying their brands run companies that were also voted most effective at sustaining brand value.

More than 800 marketing professionals in varying industries and management positions—88 percent of which are located in the U.S.—participated in the poll.