Amazon, Carnival Top Buzz Lists

Carnival Cruise Lines and Amazon are at the top of YouGov’s BrandIndex mid-year buzz lists, released Wednesday.

The biggest perception gainer for the first half of the year — and by a very wide margin — was Carnival Cruise Lines, top-ranked in  the “Mid-Year Rankings: U.S. Top Buzz Improvers.” Amazon is at the top of the “Mid-Year Rankings: U.S. Top Buzz” list.

1.2 million people were interviewed, with a plus-minus 1.5%  margin of error.

Last winter, Carnival had a series of well-publicized crises on their hands, including a disabled ship, The Triumph, adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.

“However, they not only brought its consumer perception back in line with the rest of industry last fall, but their sales potential with consumers has rebounded above the rest of the cruise sector,” says Ted Marzilli, SVP and managing director of YouGov’s BrandIndex.

Despite its war with Hachette and periodic bad press about warehouse conditions, Amazon remains number one since the end of 2013, when they were the best perceived brand of the year for the first time.

Amazon has been as “close to a Teflon brand as there is these days,” Marzilli says.

“People tend to focus more on the good aspects that they hear about Amazon,” he tells Marketing Daily. “Don't forget -- books are a small part of Amazon's business, and they sell pretty much anything that has a price tag on it. So no matter what issues have arisen about the company, they are 'built solid' to withstand those potential setbacks."

Apple and Google onto the top 10 best perceived list after an 18-month absence.

"The return of Apple and Google after 18 months is a vote from the mainstream for those two brands,” Marzilli says. “While it may be trendy sometimes to criticize both companies, the fact is that everybody hangs on everything they do."

Netflix and Samsung make their debut on the top 10 best perceived brands. Other top 10 finishers include Ford, Walgreen’s and Lowe’s.

Other top 10 buzz improvers include three financial brands,  #2 Bank of America, #9 Goldman Sachs, #10 Wells Fargo, marking the continuation of a long bounce back of this much-maligned sector. One year ago, four of them were on the most improved list, and this year, there are three, including two repeaters (BOA and Goldman Sachs).

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