YouGov has released its US Buzz Rankings list for 2015, showing that Amazon enjoyed the best public perception for the third 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.
Seven brands from last year’s top 10 made this year’s list again:
- Netflix moved ahead of YouTube for the second spot;
- Google climbed 4 spots to #4;
- Apple remained in the 6th position, tied with Samsung, which was 5th last year; and
- Lowe’s moved down a spot to 9th.
New to the list this year are the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (#5), which made the mid-year top 10, iPhone (#8) and Walgreens (joint #9).
The top improvers list, which tracks the highest increase in Buzz Scores during 2015 compared to 2014, is led by auto brands, and also features some high-performing brands. General Motors (GM) was most-improved, going from a negative Buzz Score (-13.2) to a relatively neutral one (0.8) for a swing of 14 points. GM was followed by Chevrolet, which improved by 7.6 points to 15. Of note, the 4th-most improved brand was Netflix (+4.2 points) and the 10th-most improved was Amazon, improving its already-leading 2014 score by 2.4 points.
Top Buzz Rankings, by Segment
Drilling down to various respondent groups, the results show that Netflix has the best perception among US Millennials, as it did in 2014. In fact, each of the top 5 brands for Millennials – Netflix, Amazon.com, YouTube, Google and Nike – was also on 2014’s list, with the only change in rank being a swap between YouTube and Google.
Meanwhile, GM ranked as the most-improved brand among Millennials, followed by Uber, Target, Chevrolet, and Chick-Fil-A.
Turning to African-Americans, Netflix topped the list despite not being in the top 5 last year. It supplanted Nike (last year’s leader for this demographic), with Amazon.com, YouTube and Google rounding out the top 5. Uber was the most-improved among African-Americans.
For Hispanics, Amazon is the best-perceived brand, up from 5th in 2014. Amazon beat out YouTube and Google for the top billing, while last year’s leader Samsung fell to 5th. Uber was also the most-improved brand among Hispanics.
Below are some quick highlights (limited to the US) of the brands topping the various category lists:
- Southwest (13.6) led among airlines again, with second-placed Delta (4.5) trailing distantly;
- Nike (15.9) led again in the Apparel and Footwear category, followed by Skechers;
- Once again, none of the cable and satellite providers identified was able to crack a double-digit Buzz score, although DirecTV (8.5) again came closest, with Verizon FIOS (5.6) second;
- GEICO (16.6) edged State Farm (16.5) once more in the insurance category;
- Google’s winning Buzz Score of 23.5 in the internet search category was significantly ahead of Yahoo! (8.6), its nearest competitor; and
- Despite being most improved in the social media category for the second consecutive year, Facebook (13.6) was outranked by Pinterest (14.3), with both falling far behind YouTube (26.3) and Google (23.5);
- Netflix (30.2) and YouTube (26.3) far surpassed the competition in the streaming category, with Pandora (12.5) and Amazon Instant Video/Prime Instant Video (11.6) well behind; and
- The History Channel (18.4) took top honors among TV networks, followed by the Discovery Channel (14.8) and PBS (13.7).
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.
The research tracked 1,510 brands in the US, interviewing 4,800 people daily.
The margin of error is +/- 1%.