Subway Tops BrandIndex Buzz Rankings for Second Consecutive Year

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
January 10, 2012, 10:17 PM GMT+0

The BrandIndex Buzz Rankings compares Buzz scores for more than 1100 brands in 41 categories, to reveal the US brands with the most positive Buzz in 2011.

All of these brands were rated using YouGov BrandIndex’s 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?"

Subway is the top­-ranked brand for 2011, heading up the overall Buzz list for the second consecutive year. The sandwich giant is the only dining brand to crack the BrandIndex Buzz Ranking Top 10, which includes three retailers (Amazon, Lowe's and Target), two TV networks and technology leaders Google and Apple.

Subway is the only dining brand to crack the BrandIndex Buzz Ranking Top 10. The sandwich giant ranks number one in our overall Buzz list for the second consecutive year.

Amazon profited from the increase in online retailing this season. The launch of the Kindle Fire and an increase in marketing spend solidified Amazon’s number two position.

History Channel—now known as just History–makes its third consecutive appearance in the top five ranked brands of the year. History drops a spot since 2010, but retains high rankings. History’s mix of reality shows and documentaries has spawned many cult favorites including Pawn Stars, and Larry the Cable Guy.

Google edged up one spot versus last year (after having the top spot in 2009). The search giant entered the social networking world this year with Google+ (amassing 60 million members). Google’s busy 2011 continued with proliferation of Android phones, the acquisition of Motorala Mobility and Zagat, and the unveiling of Google Wallet.

Cheerios moved up two spots to fifth overall after two straight years of coming it at number seven. Cheerios joins Subway as the only ‘food-focused’ brand in the Top 10. US consumers were introduced to ‘Cinnamon Burst Cheerios’ in 2011.

Lowe’s improved from sixth to fourth from 2009 to 2010 despite scores declining slightly. Lowe’s buzz scores continued to decline in 2011, and the brand dropped back to sixth in the rankings. Lowe’s Buzz declines were largely driven by a late 2011 controversy when the brand pulled ads from a Muslim-American show on TLC.

Ford has been in the top 10 for the last two years, coming in third in 2010 and dropping to seventh in 2011. Ford remains the top auto brand in the BrandIndex universe, and strong 2011 sales are a positive sign for 2012.

Discovery Channel has been in the Top 10 each of the last three years, although the brand has fallen from fourth place in 2009 to eighth in 2011. The brand now finds itself 5 spots behind key rival History.

Target is another brand that has been in the Top 10 for the past three years, remaining relatively consistent at eight in 2010 and ninth in 2011. Target faced brand issues with a number of glitches around the launch of their Missoni line in September, but the brand fully recovered Buzz scores and maintained their Top 10 ranking.

Apple cracked the top 10 for the first time in the last three years, the time period for which YouGov has been releasing annual Buzz rankings, coming in at number ten. Apple has been very successful this year with the launch of the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S, and the brand’s Buzz scores were also lifted substantially after the passing of founder Steve Jobs in October which caused an outpouring of remembrances and testimonials amongst Apple fans around the world.

Click here for the full 2011 US BrandIndex Buzz Rankings