#1 Amazon (29.5) Even with a few chinks in its armor – battling Hachette Book Group and ongoing reports of less-than-ideal warehouse conditions – Amazon retains the top position achieved at the end of 2013, having moved up from the number two spot on last year’s mid-year rankings. The first half of the year saw the company’s Prime service expand its HBO and music streaming offerings, and debut the Fire smart phone.
#2 Subway (26.3) Another top performing brand over the years, Subway moves up from the number three position in 2013. The QSR juggernaut installed Keurig Green Mountain’s new coffee brewing machines in all its stores just last month and sponsored the NHL Playoff Overtime reports on NBC-TV.
#3 YouTube (26.3) Google’s video channel appears for the third mid-year top 10 ranking in a row, after debuting in 2012 at the #9 position.. The site has long established itself as the go-to viral launch location for budding video stars, trailers, TV clips, music videos and more.
#4 Ford (25.2) Ford has been cited as one of the most improved car brands in the past year. A fitting conclusion for Alan Mulally’s run, widely considered the company’s best CEO ever at Ford.
#5 Netflix (25.2) Making its debut in the top 10 – mid-year or otherwise – Netflix arguably created the phrase “binge watching” with its buzz-worthy original programming such as “House Of Cards” and “Orange Is The New Black.” Subscribers can look forward to the network’s first anime series, “The Knights Of Sidonia,” and a new series from the Wachowski siblings - creators of “The Matrix.”
#6 Samsung (25.0) The Korean electronics manufacturer kept rolling out more highly praised Android-based products, from the Galaxy S tablet to the Galaxy Note 3, even offering consumers a trial program to take their products home for a test run.
#7 Walgreen's (23.1) The drugstore chain made its top 10 debut one year ago after finally launching a customer loyalty program. For several months leading into 2014, the company blitzed the TV and radio airwaves with its syrupy “At the corner of happy and healthy” campaign, accompanied by Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic “Down On The Corner.”
#8 Apple (22.9) The multi-national digital company returns to the top 10 after falling off the list in 2013. While no new products were introduced in the first half of the year, consumers are widely anticipating the iPhone 6 in the second half of the year, and the company generated other positive news, from the drop in iPhone thefts through use of its Activation Lock to its rousing health ad (“Chicken Fat”) and whimsical parenting one.
#9 Lowe's (22.7) The do-it-yourself chain Lowe’s continues to ride the economy rebound and benefit from natural disaster recoveries. Lowe’s recently received industry awards for its series of Vine videos containing home improvement tips.
#10 Google (22.4) The Internet giant reappears in the top 10 for the first time in 18 months. The company has been relentlessly updating and introducing products while engaging with its users from the increased buzz of Google Glass, creating new Doodles on its home page to aggressive advertising for its two streaming products, Chromecast and Google Play.