America's Favorite Brands
You probably have a favorite brand. It’s probably different from your friend’s favorite, your parents’ favorite. But the reasons why it’s your favorite brand may be similar to other peoples’ reasons for their favorite brands.
Love brands, or lovemarks is the idea that some brands extend their existence beyond supermarket shelves or ads on TV, and generate real, actual love from their fans.
First coined by Kevin Roberts of Saatchi & Saatchi in 2004, the concept of a love brand is one that ignites a consumer’s passions. These fans are also their customers, but firstly they are the brands’ ambassadors, cheerleaders, and megaphones helping to spread genuine and authentic love for the brand.
Talkwalker has compiled this report, broken into a Global Top 50 of the Most Loved Brands, as well as further insights on what America’s favorite brands are.
We have also identified 11 methods that love brands use to connect with their fans. Use these methods to instill passion and even love in your brand’s audience.
America's Favorite Brands
First place: Fenty
Multi-hyphenate talent Rihanna’s beauty and cosmetics brand is the most loved brand in America this year. Fenty has an unmistakable look and a unique ability to connect with their fans, rewarding them with the products and content they crave.
Giving beauty fans options, with things as subtle as shimmer versus shine, is one way to win their love.
Show, don't tell the difference between each product, so customers can make a most informed decision to buy.
Second place: Netflix
It’s no surprise that companies who can tap-in to their audience’s cravings and deliver what fans want do well in our ranking of America’s most loved brands. Considering the year we’ve had, it’s no surprise to find the streamers on top.
This theme cloud shows some of the top themes people discuss around the words “love” and Netflix.
If content is king, then Netflix is king-maker.
Fans love diving head first into content, and Netflix gives them hit after hit of high quality shows.
This year’s “Bridgerton” or “Emily in Paris” will be replaced next year with something else. Not that those shows are going anywhere! They will graduate to veteran show status, keeping and growing fans as the sagas continue.
To everyone who felt like they finished Netflix this year... thanks for watching it all!— Netflix (@netflix) December 21, 2020
Third place: Hulu
With an array of award contenders for shows, and the return of live sports, Hulu is making the most of this streaming year.
One of the places Hulu outperformed in our rankings this year was in the Emotional Keyword Score.
In brand mentions that contain an emotional keyword, the sentiment for these mentions charts several points above the median.
Fans love Hulu. By showing some of the key adjectives associated with the brand, mapped by sentiment we're able to understand which parts of the offerings they love.
That’s a scientific way of saying people really love Hulu, and they love talking about how they love Hulu.
Four Seasons Hotels (22)
Last year’s most loved brand in the US fell 21 places in this year’s rankings.
The way to see this is that the Four Seasons fell only 21 places amidst the most devastating travel conditions in anyone’s lifetime. The PR landscape also changed, ahem, politically for this brand in November.
To clarify, President Trump’s press conference will NOT be held at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia.— Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center (@FSPhiladelphia) November 7, 2020
It will be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping— no relation with the hotel.
Impressive PR skills and quick and nimble responses in the face of a crisis helped to keep the brand positively portrayed in the news, amidst a national spotlight. Oh, and the memes.
Pampers (16) & Huggies (24)
Here we have two brands who beat the odds to inspire love in their fans and customers. The products synonymous with these brands, diapers, may sit on babies' bottoms' but that’s not where they are on our Love Brands list.
And yet, despite the smell and sometimes the mess, these brands have earned their customers’ affection, and they trust the brand to deliver the softest and driest experience for their children.
Great Lakes Brewing Company (32)
A surprise entrant in our list, the Great Lakes Brewing Company was placed 32nd, globally.
The plucky beer brand from Cleveland, Ohio made this list not because of a huge legion of fans (though, they do have that in Ohio). Nor were they included for some savvy advertising campaign or PR stunt.
No, GLBC, as it’s known to fans, made this list because of an outsized performance in the Joy Score category.
They scored over 15 points in this category that’s defined by AI-identified expressions of joy. For perspective, a much bigger and well-known craft brewer, Sierra Nevada only scored 3 points here.
The 11 Love Brands methods
The eleven methods of achieving Brand Love.
The methods the world’s favorite brands use to build love:
Corporate Social Responsibility
Support the same issues that matter to their consumers.
Build strong emotional bonds with consumers’ favorite sport teams, artists, & events.
Connect with customers’ past loves, to embrace that love for their brand.
Create a brand that employees love to work for, which radiates out.
Offer exceptional customer service to keep customers coming back.
Unite with influencers with strong community relationships and shared passions.
Engage with current topics, to build relevance with their consumers.
Engaging social media strategy
Cultivate brand friendship, to create a community, not a client base.
Improve consumer awareness and engagement, by sharing positive stories.
Tap into relevant fandoms, for a loyal following of content aggregators and advocates.
Nurture an aspirational feeling towards their brand, selling a lifestyle and a product.
How can you measure love?
That’s impossible! You cannot measure love, and this report doesn’t try to. Instead, we can measure social media mentions that are specific symptoms of a brand that generates actual love from its social media fans.
We began by cultivating a list of over 1200 well known brands across 30 industries from around the globe, based on industry listings and regional marketing expertise.
Those lists included:
Forbes’ Most Valuable Brands
Fortune 500 Best Companies
From July 2020 to April 2021 we gathered data on these brands, specifically looking for mentions, engagement, positive sentiment, and love-focused emotive keywords.
We also specifically built our queries to search for conversations about the brands, not conversations with the brands. The brand’s own content and replies are not taken into consideration for this report.
Each brand was ranked on engagement and net sentiment using Talkwalker’s Quick Search. This left us with a shortlist of 152 brands.
We then used Talkwalker Analytics to measure the instances of the following criteria which form the final score:
- Consumer engagement and sentiment on social media.
- Consumer engagement and sentiment in the news.
- Percentage of mentions that were categorized as related to ‘joy’.
- Percentage of mentions that contain love-related keywords.
This left us with a more dynamic and nuanced final list than one that simply scored the brands based on their total number of mentions, or a simple ranking by sentiment.
Grab your copy of the 2021 Love Brands Report from Talkwalker and get a country-by-country look at the most loved brands across the globe.
You can also see the year’s major trends reflected in the report. After the year we had you’ll see which brands benefited from at-home trends, and which ones are poised to make 2021 more impactful. Find which brands are doing it right, regardless of size, and use them for your own brand’s inspiration. Get the report today.