YouGov’s annual BrandIndex Buzz report saw Ford finish runner-up to retail behemoth Amazon, while Subway, the History Channel and Lowe’s rounded out the top five spots.
In fact, Ford was the only automotive brand in the top 25, and its second-place finish was a jump from sixth in 2012. To determine how well – or not so well – a brand is perceived, YouGov uses a Buzz score that asks respondents whether they’ve “heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth” and whether it was positive or negative.
YouGov notes Ford had a strong presence in social media, advertising and newsworthy toward the end of the year. The Dearborn, Michigan-based maker’s “And Is Better” ad campaign, as well as the October-launched ‘Nuts or Bolts’ spot advertising the 2014 Ford Fusion and the 2013 Ford Escape using the #fordand Twitter handle.
Ford scored a 29.6, which was only slightly below Amazon’s 30.6, but most impressively, a full 10 points ahead of the next highest-ranking automaker, Toyota. Chevrolet posted the biggest gain among automakers from 2012. It moved from 13.5 to 17.1. According to YouGov, it launched its ‘#trulyrich’ spot in October advertising the Chevrolet Malibu and ‘A Man And His Truck’ to promote the Chevrolet Silverado Vertebrae, which helped with the uptick.
“December was a strong close to an even better year for Ford Motor Co.,” said John Felice, Ford vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “We saw strong growth across the entire Ford lineup and made significant gains in the import-dominated coastal markets. Strong demand for our new cars, utilities, hybrids and trucks provided Ford with the largest share point gain of any full-line automaker in 2013.”
However, Ford finished the year as America’s best-selling vehicle brand, making it well placed to be a US Buzz leader, YouGov said. Annual sales increased 14% in the US on the previous year, with gains strongest in the West, where sales are up 21%.