2016 Annual Rankings

2016 - Annual Rankings: US Top Buzz Improvers

1 Radio Shack
Unexpectedly, Radio Shack is not only "back from the dead" from bankruptcy but perception. Rebounding after a difficult 2015 that saw the company filing Chapter 11 and closing hundreds of stores, Radio Shack's new owners -- General Wireless -- teamed up with Sprint to re-open the Shacks with mini-Sprint stores inside.

2 Uber
After a rocky early period of driver and passenger incidents, Uber’s consumer perception seems to be finally getting traction. Uber’s self driving car may have been shut down in San Francisco but it's committed to changing some rules and continuing the experiment elsewhere. UberEats expanded from one city in 2015 to 58 cities and 16 countries in 2016.

3 Comcast/Xfinity
Comcast/Xfinity’s commitment to overhauling customer service levels seems to be paying off – they are the third highest Buzz improver for 2016. The company added 32000 cable-TV customers in their 3rd period, which was their best 3rd period in a decade. They plan to start attracting more video customers, by selling prepaid TV and Internet services to people who normally wouldn’t qualify.

4 McDonalds
Let there be Breakfast. Since McDonald’s announced their ground-breaking all-day-breakfast in September 2015, the company’s Buzz scores have been on a climb. Menu innovation continues with a program that ditches frozen patties in favor of fresh beef. This program currently exists in 75 restaurants and the company plans to add another 55 to the trial.

5 Facebook
Last year, Facebook launched Facebook Live for everyone -- to make it easier to create, share and discover live videos. According to Mark Zuckerberg, “Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way."

6 Snapchat
According to tech pundits, 2016 was the year Snapchat grew up. It was a year of changes like a new advertising platform, Snapchat Spectacles and a corporate rebrand (hello Snap) as it heads to an IPO. They launched new features -- groups, shazam, scissors and paintbrush -- and their audience is finally pushing past millennials with more users 35+ joining than ever before.

7 + 9 General Motors and Chevrolet
GM’s delayed recall of a faulty ignition switch which inadvertently shut off the engine and disabled the airbags was the center of a massive recall crisis for the brands back in 2014. The tide turned in early 2015 when GM started compensating victims. By early 2016 Chevrolet had bounced back to pre-crisis levels, while GM took a few months longer.

8 Amazon
Amazon continues to evolve with Buzz scores on a consistent upwards tear from Fall 2015 through Fall 2016. The company last year saw $100 billion revenues and a fourth year at the top of the Rankings list. Amazon’s Echo Dot was the big holiday shopping big success of 2016, and Amazon Go expands the company’s experiment with brick-and-mortar retail.

9 Chevrolet (See General Motors at #7)

10 Nike
It was a giant year for Nike with the Rio Olympics dominating their summer. But it was “The Switch,” a 5-minute brand movie featuring soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo that really seized fan imagination, with an audience of nearly 60 million viewers. Although Nike’s enormous social media presence around the 2014 World Cup saw a higher perception peak for the brand, it was much shorter-lived. Nike has managed to sustain its Buzz growth from the 2016 Olympics through year end.

US Top Buzz Improvers 2016
US Top Buzz Improvers 2016

These brands were rated using YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score which asks respondents, “If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

The Buzz Rankings chart shows the brands with the highest average Buzz scores between January and December 2016. The Buzz Improvers chart ranks the brands with the highest increase in Buzz comparing scores in years 2015 and 2016. Both scores are representative of the general population.

All Buzz scores listed have been rounded to a single decimal place, however, we have used additional precision to assign ranks.

A BestBrand Communications Pack is available for brands who have achieved Top Ten Status. Please contact us on bestbrand@yougov.com

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