From the April 2014 issue of Entrepreneur

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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