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While the brand at the top of the list of most relevant brands in the US remains steady for another year, the rest of the top 5 has undergone a bit of a shuffle in 2019. So finds Prophet’s Brand Relevance Index [download page], which measures brands across 4 characteristics generally shared by the most relevant: customer obsession; ruthless pragmatism; distinctive inspiration; and pervasive innovation.

Those shared traits add up to make brands that consumers can’t live without, per the report, which surveyed 13,500 customers in the US about 225 brands across 27 industries. While actual sales don’t figure as a metric used to determine how indispensable brands are consumers, brands were chosen for analysis according to their contribution to US household spending. Within each industry, companies with outsized growth, as well as smaller ones driving change, were included.

The 5 Most Relevant Brands

Apple emerged as the most relevant brand to consumers in the US for the fifth year running. Apple achieved high scores across all of the characteristics measured. The brand has also done well this year in customer loyalty, and has been identified as one of the most loved brands on social media.

Following Apple in the rankings is Spotify, which made the climb from the #9 spot last year. Although it did tie with Apple on many measures used for relevance, the report notes that it beats out Apple with statements like, “Makes me happy,” “Connects with me emotionally,” and “Makes me feel inspired.”

Also moving up the charts this year is Android, which is up two spots to the third-most relevant brand. Android shines in the “customer obsession” component, which measures the brands that people can’t imagine living without and inspires responses such as, “Meets an important need in my life.”

Rounding out the top 5 were Bose — which scored highest in the “living up to its promise” category — and Disney, which is up from #14.

Differences Among Demographic Groups

Not everyone is in agreement about those top 5, however. Men placed Spotify and Sonos as their top 2, in that order, with Apple as their #3 followed by Bose and Android.

For women, Apple topped the list (just as it did last year), followed by KitchenAid, Android, Disney, and Amazon.

Apple led all brands in the Relevance Index among Millennials, followed by Android, Google, Bose, and Disney. Apple also topped the list for non-Millennials, ahead of Amazon, Pinterest, Android and Netflix, which is consistent with last year’s list.

Industry Leaders

Below, the top-ranking brand from select industries:

  • Airlines: Southwest (for the fourth year in a row);
  • Automotive: Toyota (as it was the past 2 years);
  • Grocery and Drug Stores: Trader Joe’s, again;
  • Hospitality: Marriott, again;
  • Media: Disney, taking over from Netflix;
  • Restaurants: Chick-fil-A, again;
  • Retail: Amazon, again;
  • Social Media & Internet Services: Spotify, taking over from Pinterest; and
  • Telecommunications: Verizon, again.

The full report, including further details about methodology and the top brands, can be accessed here.

About the Data: Rankings are based on a survey of 13,500 US customers, who rated 225 brands across 27 industries.

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