YouGov BrandIndex BestBrand Logo

Each year, research firm YouGov BrandIndex polls millions of people to track the public perceptions of thousands of brands. They release their findings in annual and mid-year BestBrands reports – and 2014’s is out now.

It’s important to keep in mind when looking at the last below, that these are not the most valuable brands – that kind of metric is likely to stay more stable over time (barring ground-breaking innovations or PR nightmares). To put together the list of Best Brands, YouGov 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?” This not only measures the respondent’s own awareness of the brand, but also gets at their perception of the perceptions of other people toward a brand.

As a result, the report’s contents can change dramatically. If a brand had a wildly successful campaign one year and then rested on its laurels the next, it could go from top of the list on year to non-existent on the following list. In order to give you some points of reference, we’re also including the top 10 BestBrands from 2013.

YouGov's BestBrands Screenshot
Image via  – click to view full slideshow

One interesting trend to note between these two annual reports is how much the mix changed; in 2013, we saw a better perception of retail brands (Walgreens, V8, Ford, Subway) and 2014, tech seems to have surged ahead (Amazon, YouTube, Netflix, Samsung, Google, Apple). Amazon retained the top position both years! Take a look for yourself and think about what the brands that had a good showing in 2014 did to keep their name on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

2014 BestBrands (US)

1. Amazon
2. YouTube
3. Netflix
4. Subway
5. Samsung
6. Google
7. Apple
8. Lowe’s
9. Ford
10. Cheerios

2013 BestBrands (US)

1. Amazon
2. Ford
3. Subway
4. History (channel)
5. Lowe’s
6. YouTube
7. Walgreens
8. V8

9. Cheerios
10. Kindle

Does this list fall in line with your own perceptions of the top 10 brands in 2014? Do you think the list leaves out any important brands? Let us know what you think in the comments!

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Content Marketing Manager at Webs, where she also manages marketing for Pagemodo – a suite of social media tools. Loves marketing, small businesses, and whales. Get more from Sarah on the Webs Blog, Twitter, and Google+.

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