Amazon, PayPal, Burt's Bees Top In Authenticity

Technology brands led the pack as being most authentic in the eyes of the consumer.

According to the 2017 Cohn & Wolfe Authentic Brands Study, The top 10 in the U.S. re Amazon, PayPal, Burt’s Bees, Crayola, M&M’s, Lego, Hershey’s, Newman’s Own, AAA and UPS. The Top 10 global brands are Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, PayPal, Adidas, Intel, Lego, BMW and HP. Technology brands comprise 70% of the top 10 most authentic global brands and are prominent throughout the full top 100, available at

Consumers today want to buy from companies that engage with them in a genuine way, says Donna Imperato, chief executive officer of Cohn & Wolfe. 

“Our research shows a link between brands that behave and communicate authentically and their ability to attract and keep customers—and, ultimately, build stronger businesses,” Imperator says in a release.



Consumers’ personal interactions with brands are a key driver of perception of brand authenticity, adds Lynn Fisher, executive vice president and global director of the branding and insights group at Cohn & Wolfe.

“Technology has become a ubiquitous and integral part of how people manage their lives, so there are countless opportunities for these brands to make a positive connection,” Fisher says in a release. “Our study shows that people view our top-ranked technology brands as genuinely wanting to deliver new ways to make people’s lives better and easier to manage.”

The Authentic 100 index is a key part of Cohn & Wolfe’s Authentic Brands study, which examines the role of authenticity in business, the attributes associated with an authentic brand and the impact of authenticity on consumer, investor and employee attitudes and behaviors. Each year, the study assesses the role authenticity plays in brand success. 

In 2017, 91% of consumers globally indicate they are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity via purchase, investment, endorsement or similar action. Specifically, 62% will either purchase or express increased purchase interest in a brand they view as authentic.

Generational differences were evident in the findings. While Gen Xers and Baby Boomers emphasize their personal relationships with brands when evaluating authenticity, Millennials tend to want personal attention and more. They also emphasize innovation and social consciousness, with determinants such as “provides original ideas and solutions” and “contributes to making the world a better place” taking more importance. 

The 2017 Authentic Brands study is the result of a combination of primary and secondary research, including surveys on more than 1,400 brands, measuring more than 200 global brands, administered over two months (May to June 2017) to over 15,000 consumers in 15 markets: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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