YouGov has released its US Buzz Rankings list for 2014, revealing that Amazon enjoys the best public perception for the second consecutive year. The study, which measures consumer perceptions of brands, asks respondents whether they have heard anything about the brand during the prior 2 weeks and subtracts the percentage who answer they have heard something negative from the proportion who have heard something positive.
Six brands from last year’s top 10 made this year’s list again:
- YouTube moved up 4 spots from the 6th position to take the second spot behind Amazon;
- Subway dropped a spot to 4th;
- Lowe’s fell 3 spots to #8;
- Ford had the biggest decline, from the second ranking to #9 this year; and
- Cheerios dropped a spot to 10th.
The remaining brands from last year’s top 10 – History Channel, Walgreen’s, V8, and Kindle – were replaced this year by Netflix (up from #12 to #3), Samsung (up from #11 to #5), Apple (up from #18 to #6, returning to the top 10 after a 2-year absence) and Google (up from #19 to #7). In other words, it was quite the year for technology and telecom companies.
The top improvers list, which tracks the highest increase in Buzz Scores during 2014 compared to 2013, is led by 3 brands that still ended up with a negative average Buzz score, meaning that more respondents heard something negative than positive about the company. The top 5:
- Carnival Cruise Line (+11.6 to -3.5);
- Bank of America (+6.1 to -7.1);
- Goldman Sachs (+4.9 to -7.2);
- Wells Fargo (+3.8 to 0.4); and
- NBC (+3.8 to 1.3).
Below are some quick highlights (limited to the US) of the brands topping the various category lists:
- Southwest (14.6) led among airlines, with second-placed Delta (5.7) trailing distantly;
- Nike (18.7) was both most improved and overall leader in the Apparel and Footwear category;
- None of the cable and satellite providers identified was able to crack a double-digit Buzz score, although DirecTV (9.5) came closest, with Verizon FIOS (6.3) second;
- GEICO (19.3) edged State Farm (18.6) in the insurance category;
- Google’s winning Buzz Score of 22.6 in the internet search category was significantly ahead of Yahoo! (10.3), its nearest competitor; and
- Despite being most improved in the social media category, Facebook (10.9) was outranked by Pinterest (13.6), with both falling far behind YouTube (26.3) and Google (22.6).
About the Data: For the rankings, YouGov BrandIndex used its Buzz score, which asks respondents: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”
The Buzz score ranges from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position. Example: A score of 35 means that 35% more people said they were positive than negative about the brand.
1.2 million people were interviewed in 2014 for the research, and the same amount in 2013 for use in the improvers rankings.
The margin of error is +/- 1%.