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Love and Cars

What a recent survey found about how Americans feel about brands
#Volkswagen #Subaru #Ford

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By and large, whether it is a hard-core automotive enthusiast or just someone who has gotten their first set of wheels, people say they “love” their car (or truck or crossover). You rarely, if ever, hear someone say they love their washing machine or other big-ticket item.

There is often a whole lot of psychographic time and energy invested by product development people on creating vehicles that people will “love.”

Every now and then they hit gold, whether it is something like the recently discontinued VW Beetle, the forthcoming Ford Bronco or the apparent entire lineup of Subarus (“Love. It’s a Subaru.”)

Subaru CrossTrek Sport

2021 Subaru CrossTrek Sport: love in action. (Image: Subaru)

(This is not to say that there is a significant percentage of people for whom a car is a car is a car. But OEMs want to make customers have a feeling of affection for their products because the more we like them, the more apt we are to buy them.)

All of which lead me to a bit of head-scratching when looking at the results of a recent survey conducted by the Morning Consult Brand Intelligence operation determining the “Top 50 Most Loved Brands in America.”

This looks at four metrics: favorability, trust, community impact, and net promoter score.

The most surprising (and I think that is a near-universal reaction) is the #1 most-loved brand in America:

The United States Postal Service.

That’s worth repeating:

The United States Postal Service.

Not Apple. Not Facebook. Not Target.

(People in Washington, DC ought to pay attention to that finding.)

COVID-19 Effect

The results—and know that the survey was conducted in June-July 2020—are clearly COVID-19 influenced.

There are cleaning brands (e.g., Clorox at #6; Dove at #15), diversionary brands (e.g., Netflix at #5; M&Ms at #8) and DIY brands (Home Depot at #9 and Lowe’s at #21).

But do you know what is not found in the “Top 50 Most Loved Brands in America”?

A single automotive OEM brand.

Not even Subaru.

Perhaps nowadays it is more about Chick-fil-A (33) and Tylenol (39), Doritos (29) and Charmin (49).

But as the auto industry comes back, it needs, apparently, to engender a bit more love.

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