The rankings reflect brands' average "Buzz" scores between January and December 2013, as measured each weekday by BrandIndex's 4,300 interviews with consumers representative of the U.S. population (1.5 million interviews annually). The Buzz scores for the 1,100 brands tracked are based on asking: "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?" A score of 100 represents equal positive and negative feedback.
Amazon (which was #2 in 2012) had an average 2013 Buzz score of 30.6.
Ford won 2013's #2 ranking with a score of 29.5 (Ford was #6 in 2012).
Subway, which was #1 in 2012, came in third in 2013, with a score of 29.4.
Others in 2013's top 10 included the History Channel (26.4 average); Lowe's (25.9); YouTube (25.1); Walgreens (24.8); V8 (24.7); Cheerios (23.9); and Kindle (23.8).
Rounding out the top 25 were Samsung, Netflix, Aleve, Olive Garden, Home Depot, iPad, iPhone, Apple, Google, M&M's, Target, GEICO, Tide, Dawn and John Deere.
The U.S. brands showing the greatest improvements in their average Buzz scores in 2013 compared to their average 2012 scores were American Airlines (which rose from -7.1 in 2012 to +4.3 in 2013); Goldman Sachs (increased from -22.6 to -12.2); Bank of America (increased from -22.4 to -13.3); J.P. Morgan (increased from -12.3 to -6.5); Morgan Stanley (increased from -8.4 to -3.1); Galaxy (increased from +6.8 to +12.1); Starbucks DoubleShot Energy+Coffee (increased from -6.6 to -1.5); Citibank (increased from -8.2 to -3.2); MTV (increased from -11.8 to -7) and Starbucks Doubleshot (increased from -5.1 to -0.6).
2013's best-perceived U.S. brands within specific categories were: airlines, Southwest; amusement parks, Disneyland/Disney World; apparel/footwear, Nike; auto, Ford; beverages/snacks, V8; car rental, Enterprise; casual dining, Olive Garden; hotel, Marriott; insurance, Geico; Internet search, Google; Internet social media, YouTube; mass-market investment, USAA; networks, History Channel; oil and gas, Shell; quick-service restaurants, Subway; retail/discount, Amazon; retail/specialty, Lowe's; retail/clothing, Kohl's; telecoms/technology, Kindle; and travel agents, Priceline.com.
The full rankings, including more detail on the rankings within U.S. product categories (as well as year-end brand rankings within 14 other countries), can be viewed on the BrandIndex site.