The Most Desired U.S. Brands Report is the result of six years of study that classifies 240 U.S brands (and another 240 brands in Japan), based on a survey of 5,000 consumers. According to Buyology, the marketing group that conducted the survey, the brands reveal a lot about each brand's marketing strategies, and why we buy the brands we do.Buyology seeks to identify patterns in why we buy and what role our subconscious plays in these decisions. And according to Donna Sturgess, president of Buyology, this list shows how we form relationships with brands that goes way beyond buying a product and liking it.
"These brands have more than a transactional relationship with the people in front of them," she told WalletPop. "And, it's empowering for consumers to know they can expect more from a brand than just the best price or being on sale."
For example, Amazon is the most favored retail brand for women, ranking No. 7 (Walmart was No. 22). "Amazon has done a great deal to make selling very personal," says Sturgess. "It knows what you bought before and makes recommendations, that's very powerful." Kind of like walking through a grocery store and only seeing items you're interested in.
Target ranks high among women's favorite brands, at No. 14. But conspicuously absent in the top 20 is Walmart, the world's largest retailer with $405 billion in sales. "People are in there once a week, but that doesn't mean it's a great experience," Sturgess says.
Men have a whole different set of favored brands, with auto makers dominating the top 10: BMW (No. 2), Hyundai (No. 5), and Lexus (No. 10). None rank in the top 10 for women. "While car companies may be doing things to attract women and build a relationship with them, they still have a long way to go," says Sturgess.
Technology and electronics companies however, are doing better jobs of marketing to women, and the list shows the results of these efforts. "Sony (No. 2 for women) has turned its attention in its product development and is appealing to women, whether deliberately or by accident," she says. Sony has in fact, gone to great efforts to design products and market to women with advertising and its Sony Style stores. Whether it intended to sacrifice its rank among men -- it's not even in the top 20 on that side, according to Buyology -- is unlikely.
Credit card and financial services companies are also winning in wooing women. "MasterCard and Visa are doing a lot to put possibility in front of women," says Sturgess, pointing to MasterCard's "priceless" advertising campaign. "By its absence American Express is not. It (communicates) an exclusiveness that comes through that may not feel as accessible or inviting to women."
There are some surprises in Buyology's results. "Tide and Crest doing so well with men was a surprise," Sturgess says. And Johnson & Johnson's rank as the most desired brand among women could be short lived, given the rash of product recalls and bad publicity in the past year.
Sturgess said the list is meant to communicate to brands and their marketers how important it is to form relationships with customers to win and maintain favor. For consumers, it's interesting to see how those efforts play out in the store and our buying decisions. Telling us why we buy what we buy.
Are these among your favored brands?
Top 20 Most Desired Brands in the World: Women
- Johnson & Johnson
- National Geographic
- General Electric
Top 20 Most Desired Brands in the World: Men
- National Geographic
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Animal Planet
- Procter & Gamble