Corporate Eye

Top 10 Brands of 2011 Ranked by Positive Buzz Score

Each year, market research company YouGov surveys American consumers to analyze positive and negative perceptions of brands based on brand reputation. Using the data, YouGov assigns each brand a BrandIndex Buzz score. At the end of 2011, the 10 brands with the best reputations that consumers feel the most positive emotions toward aren’t that different from the leaders of 2009 and 2010.

According to the YouGov study, consumer sentiment toward Subway in 2011 was so consistently positive that the brand landed in the #1 spot in the Brand Buzz Rankings chart for the second year in a row. Apple came in at #10. You can see the top 10 brands based on consumer sentiment with each brand’s YouGov BrandIndex buzz score below:

  1. Subway = 41.0 buzz score
  2. Amazon = 37.5 buzz score
  3. History Channel = 36.7 buzz score
  4. Google = 35.7 buzz score
  5. Cheerios = 35.5 buzz score
  6. Lowe’s = 35.5 buzz score
  7. Ford = 35.4 buzz score
  8. Discovery Channel = 34.8 buzz score
  9. Target = 33.7 buzz score
  10. Apple = 33.0 buzz score

While Subway held on to the number one position, Amazon took the number two position in part thanks to the successful release of the Kindle Fire. Ranking at #5, Cheerios was the only other food brand to make it into the top 10, and Ford was the only automotive brand to appear in the top 10 coming in at #7 in 2011.

Google was able to climb one spot to rank #4 in 2011 with the launch of Google+ undoubtedly driving the brand’s positive buzz in the latter half of the year. Also, the increased sales of Android mobile devices helped to boost the Google brand in 2011. However, Google still has a long way to go to recoup the #1 spot, which it held back in 2009.

A key Google competitor, Apple, made it into the top 10 list for the first time since 2007. The hype around the release of the new iPad and the new iPhone models brought a great deal of positive buzz to the brand in 2011. At the same time, the death of Apple’s leader and brand champion, Steve Jobs, added to the nostalgic sentiment consumers felt for the Apple brand overall.

What do you think of the top 10 brands based on positive consumer sentiment and buzz in 2011? Do any of the brands that made it to the top of the list surprise you? Leave a comment and share your thoughts about the top 10 brands by buzz score in 2011.

Image: Thomas Hawk

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.