The 120 Most-Trusted Brands

    By Jason Daley | Small Business

    Which brands are most deserving of your emotional attachment, respect and continued patronage? We set out to determine exactly that, surveying more than 5,000 Entrepreneur readers to learn the companies that elicit their greatest loyalty and trust. Here are the results.

    1. Sephora
    2. In-N-Out Burger
    3. Publix
    4. Patrón
    5. Trader Joe's
    6. The Ritz-Carlton hotel company
    7. Panera Bread
    8. Virgin America
    9. Southwest Airlines
    10. Apple Store
    11. Whole Foods Market
    12. Wynn Las Vegas
    13. Bellagio
    14. Nordstrom
    15. Target
    16. Four Seasons
    17. Chipotle Mexican Grill
    18. Maker's Mark
    19. The Glenlivet
    20. Costco wholesale
    21. T.J.Maxx
    22. Ulta beauty
    23. Embassy Suites hotels
    24. Residence Inn by Marriott
    25. Chick-fil-A
    26. Morton's the steakhouse
    27. The James
    28. The Venetian
    29. Ruth's Chris Steak house
    30. Tiffany & Co.
    31. Courtyard by Marriott
    32. Starbucks
    33. St. Regis
    34. Bacardi
    35. Royal Caribbean International
    36. Johnnie Walker
    37. Tanqueray
    38. Hampton Inn
    39. Macy's
    40. The Macallan
    41. MAC Cosmetics
    42. Enterprise Rent-A-Car
    43. Marshalls
    44. Doubletree by Hilton
    45. Meijer
    46. P.F. Chang's
    47. Seabourn
    48. IKEA
    49. Captain Morgan
    50. Hyatt Place
    51. Subway
    52. Maggiano's Little Italy
    53. Five Guys Burgers and Fries
    54. Grey Goose
    55. Mondrian
    56. The Cheesecake Factory
    57. Tito's Handmade Vodka
    58. Hilton Garden Inn
    59. Delano
    60. The Standard

    61. Aveda
    62. Williams-Sonoma
    63. Jamba Juice
    64. Sur la table
    65. Hyatt House
    66. W Hotels
    67. California Pizza Kitchen
    68. Woodford Reserve
    69. Crate and Barrel
    70. MGM Grand hotel & casino
    71. Uno pizzeria & Grill
    72. Norwegian Cruise Line
    73. McCormick & Schmick's
    74. JW Marriott
    75. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
    76. HomeGoods
    77. Mandarin Oriental
    78. Hendrick's gin
    79. The Capital Grille
    80. Mandalay Bay resort and casino
    81. TownePlace Suites by marriott
    82. Verizon
    83. Hy-Vee
    84. Glenfiddich
    85. Hertz
    86. Silversea Cruises
    87. Houston's
    88. tequila Don Julio
    89. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
    90. Windstar Cruises
    91. Joie de Vivre hotels
    92. Crystal Cruises
    93. MGM Grand at Foxwoods resort casino
    94. Wendy's
    95. Borgata hotel casino & spa
    96. Zipcar
    97. Cunard Line
    98. Restoration Hardware
    99. Rita's Italian Ice
    100. Knob Creek
    101. Michael Kors
    102. Hilton hotels & resorts
    103. Ketel One
    104. The Original Pancake House
    105. The Container Store
    106. Carrabba's Italian Grill
    107. Hyatt
    108. Chivas Regal
    109. Aria resort & casino
    110. Princess Cruises
    111. Jose Cuervo
    112. White House | Black Market
    113. Cost Plus World Market
    114. JetBlue Airways
    115. Life time--the healthy way of life company
    116. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & wine bar
    117. Bed Bath & Beyond
    118. Einstein Bros. Bagels
    119. Homewood Suites by hilton
    120. Cold Stone Creamery

    Survey Methodology

    On behalf of Entrepreneur Media Inc., Emotographics of Princeton, N.J., conducted e-mail surveys of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial intenders. The purpose of the surveys was to establish the distribution of customer emotional engagement with individual brands across entire markets and to form the statistical basis for ranking the brands in total and within competitive categories.

    A total of 5,090 responses were generated across nine surveys that included 52 competitive subsets and produced a 98 percent confidence level, plus or minus 5 percent, an industry standard. More than 900 brands were rated in the surveys.

    The categories were selected for their relevance and inclusion of entrepreneurial brands, and for their usage and familiarity by entrepreneurs.

    Each question was designed to elicit an expression of emotional engagement with the brand, ranging from loyalty to passivity, ambivalence, disengagement or outright anger. Respondents were asked to rate only brands with which they had done business or about which they had a firm, informed opinion.

    Respondents were also asked about influences that are essential or unessential to their commitment of loyalty toward a brand, as well as demographic and regional information.

    The data were plotted to show the distribution of loyalty, market share in play, customer alienation and customer passivity by brand, and by the total market for each competitive subset. The findings were also analyzed by demographic unit, including gender, age, income and region.

    The ratings considered two primary factors that determine a brand's competitiveness and prospects for growth. The first factor is the amount of loyalty a brand and its customer experience generates, the prime indicator of the amount of organic growth it can expect to be created by its current customer base. The second is the efficiency with which it generates that loyalty, weighted by the level of ambivalence, passivity and alienation its brand perception and brand experience also produces.

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