Here Are the Most “Relevant” Brands in the US in 2021

March 17, 2021

Prophet Most Relevant Brands in the US Mar2021History has repeated itself, with the brand at the top of the list of most relevant brands in the US holding its position for yet another year. However, the rest of the top 5 has otherwise changed. This is according to Prophet’s latest Brand Relevance Index [download page], which measures brands across 4 characteristics generally shared by the most relevant: customer obsession; ruthlessness; pragmatism; distinct inspiration; and pervasive innovation.

Those shared traits add up to make brands that consumers can’t live without, per the report, which surveyed 13,000 customers in the US about 228 brands across 25 industries. While actual sales don’t figure as a metric used to determine how indispensable brands are to 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 retains its position as the most relevant brand to customers in the US for the sixth year running. The report reveals that Apple achieved near-perfect scores across all characteristics measured. The brand has also topped the list of the world’s most valuable brands and was also the most “intimate” brand in the US during the pandemic.

Following Apple in the rankings is Peloton. The brand which specializes in exercise bikes and treadmills climbed a full 33 spots over last year to reach the #2 position. According to the report, Peloton received the highest score for the statement “connects with me emotionally;” the analysts also note that the brand kept users connected to others through its online community at a time when gyms were closed due to COVID-19.

As another brand that perhaps benefited from restrictions imposed by the pandemic, KitchenAid took the #3 spot (up from #6 last year). The brand that helped consumers prepare their sourdough bread and banana bread through a disruptive year inspired consumers to say it “lives up to its promises.”

Rounding out the top 5 were Mayo Clinic — which scored highest in the “its values align with mine” category — and Lego, which not only elicited responses such as “makes me happy” but also scored highly in “makes me feel inspired”.

Industry Leaders

Below, the top-ranking brand from select industries:

  • Airlines: Southwest (for the fifth year in a row);
  • Automotive: Honda, taking over Toyota from last year;
  • Grocery and Drug Stores: Costco, taking over from Trader Joe’s;
  • Hospitality: Hilton, taking over from Marriott;
  • Media: Spotify, taking over from Disney;
  • Restaurants: Chick-fil-A, again;
  • Retail: Amazon, again;
  • Social Media & Communication: Google, taking over from Spotify; 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 13,000 US customers, who rated 228 brands across 25 industries.


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