Your company’s brand communicates more than just your product identity. Your brand can be used to build rapport and trust, even with those outside your immediate customer base.
In the 2023 Axios Harris Poll, over 16,000 Americans were asked to select the two best and two worst brands from a representative list. The results are in — here’s what boards and executive leaders should learn from this year’s polling data.
The 10 Most-Loved Brands in America
Analysts compiled the results of the poll into a ranking. Out of 100 companies, the following are the top ten most-loved brands in the United States, according to the 2023 survey.
Pantagonia’s commitment to quality outdoor gear isn’t the only reason that the company ranked number one among America’s best-loved brands. The company also carries a reputation for environmental consciousness, transparent corporate ethics, and a sense of social responsibility.
During an era of soaring inflation, Costco emerged as a way for consumers to cut their grocery bills without sacrificing quality. More than that, the company’s consistent commitment to its employees has fostered customer loyalty that goes far beyond the company’s membership model.
3. John Deere
John Deere’s strong brand reputation reverberates even among those who will never drive one of its signature green tractors. Having long established itself as a symbol of American agriculture, the company has made major strides in environmental sustainability and ethical business practices.
4. Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s shoppers have always associated the company with unique and quality items, creating a kind of intimacy between consumers and the brand. This only complements the customer-friendly shopping experience and convenient store policies, to say nothing of the company’s commitment to fair trade and ethical business practices.
In a relatively short time period, Chick-fil-A has risen to the top of the fast food pyramid. The reason for its rise is not just the quality of its chicken sandwiches but also its friendly, at-home customer service and the way each restaurant makes strides to impact its local community.
6. Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota’s reputation rests on more than its line of quality cars and trucks. The company’s certified pre-owned program and outstanding vehicle warranties have earned consumer trust around the world. With an expanding line of alternative fuel vehicles, the company’s commitment to the environment stands out from other leading car companies.
With emerging technologies such as 5G and AI, Samsung stands out as a global innovator. More importantly, the company has been able to create leading tech while remaining consumer-friendly and providing outstanding customer service.
Amazon has become synonymous with fast, easy, online shopping. For consumers, the friendly “smile” logo waiting on the front porch is like a rush of adrenaline. But that’s just the start, thanks to offerings such as Prime Video, Prime Music, Audible, and more — all of which help Amazon offer a well-rounded customer experience.
USAA stands out among insurance companies not just for the quality of its products but also for its support of military service members and their families. In addition to insurance products, members get discounts on travel, entertainment, home repair, and more.
Steve Jobs’ legacy of innovation and creativity continues long after his death. Apple continues to be a beloved brand for its quality products and consumer experience. Phones, tablets, earbuds, and more all create a recipe for strong brand loyalty.
Who Has the Worst Reputation?
In addition to these top performers, the 2023 survey revealed the companies that have the lowest brand reputation. The bottom of the list contained:
- Twitter (X)
- Fox Corporation
- The Trump Organization
The sheer popularity of companies like Meta (Facebook) and Twitter indicate that popularity and brand reputation aren’t always synonymous. And it’s easy to see how today’s political and social climate could influence the other brands on this list.
What Makes a Brand Loved?
Corporate boards should instantly notice several common threads in the above list. Here are some of the things that top brands have in common.
Quality Products and Services
First, every single company that made the “top ten” list is known for the quality of its products and services. This applies to tech companies, car manufacturers, and restaurants alike. In order to connect with your consumer base, you need to first ensure that your product meets the public’s high standards of excellence.
Boards should think of it this way: what need does your product satisfy? If your products don’t answer a genuine, felt need among your target market, you will continually struggle to build a strong brand reputation.
Conversely, if you can anticipate your consumers’ needs and develop products that address them, you’ll be certain to nurture support among your core audience.
Today’s top-performing companies all share a commitment to ethical causes. A common cause is environmental sustainability and a reduction in the company’s carbon footprint. But customers are equally concerned about corporate ethics and a company’s commitment to its employees.
Corporate boards should pay attention to these trends, recognizing that a commitment to ethical responsibility can go a long way to building customer support. Supporting local causes or charities, for example, can be a helpful way to show concern for the surrounding community and build both local and national awareness.
Today’s consumers expect to know more about the inner workings of top companies. Executive teams will have to work harder to nurture a culture of transparency, communicating the company’s mission and strategic goals.
Embracing transparency will give customers and stakeholders a greater understanding of your company’s core policies. That’s helpful anytime, but especially during times of economic turbulence — this is when you get the chance to demonstrate that you can weather any crisis.
Will Your Company Make the Cut?
How well do you think your brand reputation ranks among your customer base? You may not make the national top ten list, but by practicing ethical responsibility and transparency, your company can nurture stronger support among your target market.