Apple Is America''s Favorite Brand, Says Boston Consulting Group Survey; Brands That Top the List Target Their "Apostle" Consumers and Connect With Their Emotions, Driving Referral and Reverence

But Some of the Most Loved Brands Are Also the Least Liked; Consumers Define Up-and-Coming Brands; Findings Match Those in Rocket, a New BCG Book That Shows How Great Brands Focus on Best Customers Who Drive the Most Growth

ID: 1394633
recent pressrelease next pressrelease

(businesspress24) - BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired) -- 10/26/15 -- and top the list of America''s favorite brands, according to a survey of 15,000 U.S. and European consumers by .

Also in the top ten are and .

Up-and-coming brands to watch include , , survey respondents said.

What unites this diverse array of brands is one attribute above others -- the ability to forge an emotional connection with consumers. "They use technical and functional attributes to drive original choice and win by owning the heart and the mind," says , a Senior Partner at BCG.

But the survey also showed that Walmart and Apple rank first and third among America''s least favorite brands -- indicating that "brand love" can be volatile and turn quickly negative, a phenomenon that ought to keep even the most successful brands on their toes.

The findings parallel those in , a new book written by Silverstein and BCG co-authors Dylan Bolder, Rune Jacobsen and Rohan Sajdeh, and published this month by McGraw-Hill.

The book describes how the best brands achieve decades-long success and growth by putting aside conventional wisdom and focusing most of their resources on wooing a select few "apostle customers." According to Mr. Silverstein, it''s emotional connection that transforms these brands into "apostle brands" that capture a disproportionate share of discretionary dollars.

"Apostle customers are only two percent of the customer base -- but they drive the vast majority of sales and profits, because they love the brand, make it part of their lives, and recommend it fervently to family, friends and total strangers," Mr. Silverstein says.

According to proprietary BCG research reported in , one ultra-loyal customer -- an apostle -- can generate eight times his or her own consumption through word-of-mouth advocacy. And two percent of consumers directly contribute 20 percent of sales. They drive 80 percent of total volume via their recommendations. They deliver over 150 percent of profitability, buying products without a discount and without regard for seasonality.

"Apostle brands command premium prices and sell without promotion," Mr. Silverstein says. BCG research shows that companies that succeed in creating apostle brands command higher valuations, higher margins and sustainable growth. "The goods that move off the shelf without markdown are also the strongest brands -- they deliver high profit for manufacturers and retailers."

The survey of 12,000 U.S. and 3,000 European consumers shows the power of apostle brands in action. Among the key findings:

Consumers asked to name their favorite brands cited Apple, ranked first with an index number of 100, followed by Amazon (95), Walmart (85), Netflix (68), Costco (55), Samsung (55), Coca-Cola (52), Target (44), Jet Blue (43) and Chick-Fil-A (38).

When consumers were asked what were the most important factors in their choices, emotional factors ranked high -- in many cases higher than functional factors like price and quality. For those who picked Apple, "I feel smart, like I made a good decision" (41 percent) outranked quality (38 percent) or "is cutting edge" (33 percent). For those who picked Amazon, the same factor -- "I feel smart, like I made a good decision" (42 percent) ranked just behind convenience (52 percent) but ahead of detailed product information (38 percent) and easy returns (30 percent). In the case of Walmart, "I feel smart, like I made a good decision" (75 percent) outweighed all other factors, even value for money (72 percent), convenience (47 percent) and low prices (44 percent).

Asked to name "a brand you like that could be the next big thing in its category," consumers cited a range of up-and-comers, all of which go beyond products and services to provoke excitement and engagement. The list of top 25 up-and-coming brands included peer-to-peer vacation rental business ; China''s e-commerce giant ; online-only ; high-end headphone maker exercise monitor maker ; , the maker of personal video cameras for thrill-seekers; video streaming service ; cosmetics maker and virtual-reality headset maker , as well as , , and "cult" airline .

Apple, ranked first among the top 15 favorite brands, was also ranked third among the top 15 least favorite brands. Walmart, ranked third among the top 15 favorite brands, was ranked first of the top 15 least favorite brands. While one Apple admirer called the brand "a part of who I am," other survey respondents called it "arrogant" and "secret and elitist" -- comments that underscore the polarization.

This last finding, according to Mr. Silverstein, conveys an important lesson for leading brands: embrace angry customers, because brand scorn can turn to love.

"Brands are fragile and they fail. Sometimes brands that are loved are also least liked. No brand is stable -- they''re either rising or declining," Mr. Silverstein says. Companies that understand this "schismogenesis" can watch for it and avoid it. Toyota dealt with customer anger over massive recalls by embracing it head-on. should consider the same approach as it faces a storm over issues including domestic violence and head trauma, Mr. Silverstein says.

"The new movie, Concussion, will highlight this issue," he says. "More and more mothers are telling their sons, you can''t play football!"

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world''s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 82 offices in 46 countries.

features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management''s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG''s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm''s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by , mobile, , , and .


Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller
Sommerfield Communications
(212) 255-8386

Keywords (optional):

boston-consulting-group, michael-silverstein, apple, amazon, marketing, branding, bcg, consumers,

Company information / Profile:

PressRelease by


PressContact / Agency:

published by: Marketwired
print pressrelease  send to a friend  

Date: 10/26/2015 - 09:30
Language: English
News-ID 1394633
Character count: 0
Firma: The Boston Consulting Group
Ansprechpartner: Feedback to about Pressrelease-id:


Number of hits: 528


Direct Link to this PressRelease:

We would appreciate a link in your News-, Press- or Partner-Site.

Comments on this PressRelease

All members: 9 437
Register today: 0
Register yesterday: 0
Members online: 0
Guests online: 93

Don't have an account yet? You can create one. As registered user you have some advantages like theme manager, comments configuration and post comments with your name.