The 100 Brands Consumers Can’t Live Without Revealed

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on November 24, 2020

Opinium unveils the 100 Most Connected US Brands: those that are indispensable in consumers’ daily lives, ranked exclusively by consumer feedback

  • Covid-19 pandemic springs cleaning brands into spotlight as Lysol and Clorox rank 3rd and 7th respectively, climbing from 26th and 16th positions
  • Iconic drinks brands Pepsi and Coke losing traction with younger generations, as focus shifts to healthier alternatives
  •  Parcel delivery companies and couriers march up the ranking as country tries to stay connected – USPS lies 4th and UPS 12th
  • Socially conscious brands performing well, particularly among Democrats

The Top 100 Most Connected Brands (MCB) in the US are today revealed for the very first time by New York based insights agency Opinium. The ranking is the first ever Index to be compiled exclusively from consumer feedback.

The MCB Index identifies – perhaps unsurprisingly – Amazon as the number one brand that consumers connect with, followed by Google. Lysol sits in third place, ahead of the US Postal Service, demonstrating how the pandemic has had an obvious influence on the ranking.

Opinium interviewed 6,100 consumers, collated 9,000 spontaneous brand mentions and facilitated 48,000 brand reviews to offer a robust and scientific way to unpick the intangible alchemy of brand connection. The Most Connected Brands in the US are those that have succeeded in becoming indispensable to consumers’ daily lives. These brands challenge conventions, build unbreakable bonds and define how consumers interact, whilst remaining true to themselves.

Giulia Prati, Vice President, US Research, Opinium comments: “2020 was an unprecedented year for cultural change in the United States and 2021 shows no signs of letting up. Of course, Covid-19 has caused a seismic shift in the way we work, socialize, shop, relax, and engage. That would be plenty on its own, but the US has also faced an historic reckoning around police violence and racism, bringing millions of Americans into the streets during a global pandemic. Our society remains bitterly divided along party lines, as we face another contentious and culture-shifting election outcome.

“Brands have been under enormous pressure to respond to these multiple crises and to adapt the roles they play in our lives, offering guidance, hope, safety, and distraction. Increasingly, consumers expect brands to take a stand on key issues—notably, 71% of Americans think brands have a role in responding to the issue of police violence.  As such, there has never been a more relevant time to measure which brands the public connect with and the nature of this connection.”

Top 20 Most Connected Brands in the US

Measuring Connection

Opinium’s MCB Index is the combination of four key brand metrics which are weighted together to produce a one number summary of a brand’s ability to connect with consumers. These measures are:

  1. Prominence: The brand’s presence and scale
  2. Distinction: The brand’s unique identity and ability to set trends
  3. Emotion: The brand’s ability to form emotional relationships
  4. Dynamism: The brand’s momentum and social traction

Pepsi vs. Coke: No longer the “Choice of a new generation”

The battle between Pepsi and Coke is well storied and part of marketing folklore. Both brands arguably reached their peak in the 80s with Pepsi’s “Choice of a generation” campaign featuring megastars like Michael Jackson and Coke’s “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” forever linking the brand to Christmas.

However, these iconic brands now find themselves in the same battle, and they are currently both on the losing side. The MCB Index shows that both brands are losing traction amongst younger consumers. This can be linked to less familiarity with the brands’ marketing heydays, combined with a greater focus on health and wellbeing challenging the soft drink category.

Politics and brands collide

America is more divided than at any point in modern history. Political and racial tensions are at their most conflicted since the America Civil War. The division is so prominent that it is even coloring the brands people connect with and use. The MCB Index shows that political affiliation hugely affects how people view brands, with some becoming casualties of the division and others attempting to exploit it.

One brand unavoidably drawn into the political debate is the US Postal Service, with concerns about voter fraud turning it into a political football, whilst elevating the brand in the public’s consciousness. Other brands like Nike are stepping into the debate, with vocal activism for the Black Lives Matter movement, culminating in their recent ‘For once don’t do it’ anti-racism campaign. The result is a significant difference in how consumers connect with different brands according to their political affiliation. 

The Most Connected Brands 2020 US ranking

Key conclusions

The MCB Index shows that, to successfully connect with consumers, brands need to:

  1. Maintain consistent values that are authentic and can’t be faked
  2. Take a stand when you feel it is right. Social responsibility alone is not going to vault you to the top but it can be an important part of standing out and making sure that, when you do take a stand, people take you at your word
  3. Make sure your appeal goes beyond politics. There’s nothing wrong with taking a stand but most people don’t pay that much attention to politics outside of elections and will need a reason to choose you that goes beyond supporting your values
  4. Recognize where you deliver value and find ways to increase it rather than just being an easily replaceable conduit to the things consumers really want
  5. Find a way to stand out beyond just delivering products and services that your customers want and appreciate to lead the field and remain top of mind

To view the full report, please click here.