Relevance becomes more human-centered.
Prophet asked more than 13,500 consumers in the U.S. about the brands that matter most in their lives today. We measure their relationship to 293 brands in 27 categories, looking closely at 16 attributes. A new pattern of relevance emerged in this research: Brands are finding success in our new normal by connecting with us as humans—by appealing to the head and the heart.
Top 10 Brands in the U.S.
Relevant brands find their way into people's hearts by continually doing what seems impossible. They adapt quickly to customers' changing needs and expectations. But they do so by remaining ever more true to themselves.
The Beatles of all brands, Apple tops our charts again. It continually proves that it is far more than just a phone, a watch or earbuds. With Ted Lasso-like charm, it smoothly delivers millions of songs, games and workouts to draw us into its always-inspiring ecosystem.
It may have pedaled into America's living rooms as a pandemic placeholder for gyms and fitness studios. But even as it muddles through business challenges, its most loyal subscribers crave this motivating community. It ranks first for pushing the status quo.
It keeps its growth groove going with a simple formula: More of what we want to hear and more ways to hear it. Even as it navigates controversy, its podcasts and playlists of any sub-sub-genre help it break its own records.
Has there ever been a brand promise as welcome as "noise cancellation?" These high-quality products offer listeners ever-more-satisfying ways to make that raucous reality fade away, easing our escape into music.
This bright green guy helms the thinking person's operating system. Consumers love Android's value and getting maximum control with their beloved Google, Samsung, Motorola, Lenovo and LG devices.
Is it a kitchen appliance or a life coach? Whether using it to make plain rice or Beef Bourguignon, Instant Pot has emerged as a reliable and convenient helper in the house, with creative solutions that feed people fast.
This is PS5's moment. The new console keeps smashing sales records, proving that nothing can shake its hold on gamers' love. And it makes sure familiar names, like Spider-Man and Madden, continue to be part of the family.
For those looking to prioritize their health, this brand is a steadfast accountabilibuddy. It's outgrown its step-counting roots, offering smart-watches that rival fancier tech brands. And people love its mental-health promise: Move more, feel better.
The world is on a self-improvement kick, and TED's resonant "Ideas worth spreading" mission is contagious–in a good way. This is the single most inspirational brand in our research, helping us become more creative, productive, empathic and even vulnerable.
It's a club few can join. But those lucky enough to have access love the banking, car and home insurance it provides military families. And they salute its personalized service, low rates and digital precision.
Why Relevance Matters
In a fast-changing world, brand relevance matters more than ever. Some brands excel by speaking to people's hearts, making magic with a dazzling ability to inspire and connect. Others are practical allies, building relevance through their ability to solve problems, eliminate frustrations and make life easier. And some brands have achieved both. Intelligent and inspired, they're the names people can't live without.
Make Technology Human-Centered
Relentlessly relevant brands are part of our identity, delivering practical solutions that feel like they're made just for us. This year, each of the Top Five brands—Apple, Peloton, Spotify, Bose and Android—run on tech that is always personalized. It connects us and makes us feel connected to one another, human-to-human, without ever leaving our homes.
Calm (#12), an app for meditation and sleep, offers users an easy way to quiet an anxious mind. Fitbit, (#8,) also gives us nudges to take control of our health and get our steps in TED (#9) makes us smarter one video at a time and reminds us that there are always opportunities to learn. These brands help us become the best version of ourselves.
Appeal to the Head
Brands that appeal to the head are problem solvers. These ruthlessly pragmatic, pervasively innovative brands take care of fundamental needs. They fuel our hunger for self-reliance and DIY confidence.
Reinforce Promises with Performance
To recalibrate routines and make new ecosystems feel sturdy, people want only the best support staff—the appliances, products, and services that enrich this at-home reality. Brands like Instant Pot (#6) and KitchenAid (# 18) feed our busy families. Dyson (# 19), Whirlpool (#45) and Keurig (#34) keep us clean and caffeinated in ways that feel in touch with today's wired households.
Another year of working from home and at-home workouts may have been unwelcome and unexpected. Yet they push us to do more for ourselves, so we crave products that offer control and confidence. Financial brands did that: Afterpay (#11), a financing service for online transactions, leads that category, with TurboTax (#46), Zelle (#39), Paypal (#56), Cash App (#52) and Visa (# 71) close behind.
Speak to the Heart
These customer-obsessed, distinctively inspired brands turn consumers into fans, loyalists and collectors. Unexpectedly delightful and universally adored, these brands make us feel alive and special.
Entering into the third year of the pandemic people still crave connection and stimulation to escape monotonous days. Content creators Marvel (#14) and Pixar (#17) outpaced Netflix, coming in first and third respectively for the “Makes me Happy” measurement. Gaming platforms such as PlayStation (#7), Nintendo (#23) and Xbox (#35) also soared. These brands make memorable magic and transport us out of our lives and into the past, the future, or another reality entirely.
Tap into Authentic Expression
As the creator economy exploded, platforms that encourage user creativity earned constant kudos. Etsy (#24), Pinterest (#41), YouTube (#70) and TikTok (#144) allow tens of millions of people to express themselves—while the rest of us can't stop watching. These platforms democratize creativity, sparking joy and inspiration.
"At Peloton, our focus is to motivate the world to live better. We put our Members first and design an experience around them that makes fitness so motivating and exhilarating that they love it and stick with it. With our community, experience, and products, anyone can bring fitness into their life and feel their best, day after day."
SVP, Head of Global Marketing & Communications
Our clients have often asked for our perspective on the value of other brand rankings. While there are several brand lists and rankings out there, none speak directly to consumers to find out which brands are the most indispensable to their lives - the ones consumers simply cannot imagine living without.