2006 Berks County, Pennsylvania Leaders 

You only have to know two words; "Who's Who," to know which businesses in Berks County are recognized most often among area residents. Now in its 9th year, the People's Choice - Who's Who in Berks County leaders will soon be announced.

This distinguished annual program, and the associated recognition that goes with it, is the result of months of research conducted through telephone surveys. Polk-Lepson, an independent market research firm asks the questions and then compiles the responses from a random sample of households all across Berks County.

Created to celebrate local business leadership, The People’s Choice Who's Who in Berks program seeks to reward local businesses for developing strong and memorable relationships with their customers.

Who's Who in Berks County


Find out what it takes to be a leader in Berks County, Pennsylvania Business

     At about this time every year it happens. Billboard announcements start popping up all over the Berks County.  And they’re not just any billboards. They look alike in some way, signifying something very special to the business owners displayed on them.  Well, it’s that time of year again, that time when we find out Who’s Who with the 2006 People’s Choice Awards.

     The People’s Choice - Who’s Who in Berks Program is celebrating 9 years of announcing just who the leaders in Berks County business are. It’s a fairly simple concept, yet behind the scenes much is done to ensure the statistical integrity and accuracy of its results.


How It Works

     This year 300 random and geographically dispersed telephone surveys were conducted.  The respondents were asked who they felt the leaders were in 78 different business categories, such as pharmacies, florists and travel agencies. The respondents were then asked a series of specific questions about themselves to provide a demographic analysis for just who is choosing these business leaders.

     Polk-Lepson Research Group of York, an independent market research firm, conducted the surveys to ensure the results are objective and unbiased. Polk-Lepson specializes in research for both manufacturing and service-based industries.

     “The data collection itself is the key to everything,” says Polk-Lepson’s President, David Polk. “We use a standardized set of interview techniques.” Polk says that all the questions are asked the same way every time. If a respondent, for example, does not know the name of the business and queries the surveyor for it, the surveyor will record the question as a non-response. “There is no prompting,” says Polk, who commented this is done to help ensure the accuracy of the results.

     Polk says they are also very careful to select responders at random, not allowing bias to play a role in who is queried and who is not.

     Polk is careful to point out that this survey is purely based on the perceptions of the responder.  “And sometimes perceptions do not necessarily equal reality,” says Polk. In other words, it has more to do with recognition of the business, than balance sheets issues, like which business has the highest annual profits.


The Pay Off

     Once the data collection is completed it is edited for accuracy and then compiled. During the compilation process all the data is run through what Polk called a cross tabulation process, which matches the responses up with the demographics. These statistics become a valuable resource for the category leaders, who receive a detailed analysis of the demographics. Having this resource in turn helps these businesses market and manages themselves to their best advantage.

The Categories

        So who do you think the leaders in Berks business are? Take a moment to go over our category list and make your own projections.

The Categories are...

Adult Continuing Education Auto Insurance
Bank Banquet Facility
Bar/Tavern Beauty Salon & Spa
Beer Brand Car Wash
Carpet & Flooring Service Casual Dining
Caterer College/University
Convenience Store Copier Company
Cosmetic Enhancement Credit Union
Dental Service Dry Cleaner
Employment Agency Family Entertainment
Financial Planner Fine Dining
Florist Furniture Store
Garden Center Glass Installation & Repair
Golf Course Grocery Store
Health Insurance Company Health/Fitness Center
Heating & Air Conditioning Home Heating Oil
Home Improvement Home Security System
Hospital Hot Dog
Hotel & Conference Center Hunting & Fishing Store
Independent Jeweler Kitchen & Bath Supplier
Landscape Contractor Lasik Surgery
Law Firm Lighting Store
Local Sports Team Local TV News
Matress Store Mortgage Company
Motorcycle Dealer MRI Center
New Car Dealer New Home Builder
Night Entertainment Oil Change & Lube
Outlet Center Painting & Wallpapering
Pest Control Physical Therapy/Rehab
Pool Tables/Pinball Pools & Spas
Professional Landscaping Real Estate Firm
Rental Company Restaurant & Bar
Retirement Community Shopping Mall
Ski Shop Soft Drink
Sporting Goods Store Tanning Salon
Technical/Trade School Television Cable Provider
Tire Dealer Travel Agency
Veterinarian Windows & Doors
Winery Wireless Phone Service
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the 2006 Leaders
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the 2007 Leaders