Hospitals Dominate Most-Recommended Brands

Hospitals and treatment centers dominate YouGov BrandIndex’s first Brand Advocacy rankings — the brands recommended the most by their own customers.

From a universe of more than 1,500 major brands, the top 10 brands with the highest consumer recommendation levels are led by the Mayo Clinic, followed by Johns Hopkins Medicine at number two. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is fifth and Cleveland Clinic is eight.

The brands that round out the group include a few that usually don't make the consumer brand perception research service’s other top 10 lists: USAA (3), Amazon (4), Band-Aid (6), John Deere (7), Merrell (9) and Netflix (10).



Even as a sector, hospital organizations capture the highest recommendation levels from their customers, followed by Tools/Hardware, Women’s Clothing Stores, and Home Improvement/Furnishings brands. The sectors that draw the lowest levels are Cable and Satellite TV, and Consumer Banks.

“When it comes right down to taking care of and maintaining one’s health, curing illness and perhaps saving a life, it puts everything in perspective and hospitals come out on top,” says YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli.

Customers were asked whether they would recommend the brand to friends and family or whether they would recommend that friends and family avoid the brand. Scores were filtered for adults 18 and over who are customers of the brand they were recommending.

“Because these scores are calculated among each brand’s customer base, they tend to be higher than rankings that are asked across the general population,” Marzilli tells Marketing Daily. “We also see some smaller brands outscoring larger brands. For example, Honda outscores Toyota and Ford, indicating that it has a more enthusiastic and supportive customer base than its larger competitors.”

Not all of the brands are big marketers. 

“Customer advocacy doesn’t typically scale as easily as advertising and marketing, but it can be a powerful influencer,” Marzilli says. “Particularly for complex and potentially expensive decisions, recommendations from friends and family can be very powerful.”

Research shows that it is more challenging and expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an existing customer, he adds. If a brand can convert its customers into advocates, it can lower those customer-acquisition costs and grow its customer base.

YouGov BrandIndex interviews 4,800 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample, more than 1.5 million interviews per year. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of more than 1.8 million individuals.

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