Apple Remains the USA’s Most Relevant Brand for the 5th Year, While Nike Plummets

Prophet's annual Brand Relevance Index is out

Apple products
There are many factors that contribute to a consumer's positive view of a brand, the index found. Apple
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For the fifth year in a row, Apple has been named the country’s most relevant brand in the annual Brand Relevance Index from Prophet.

Showing how committed people are to their smartphones, fellow phone brand Android grabbed the third spot, while Spotify came in second place. Rounding out the Top 10 are Bose, Disney, KitchenAid, Amazon, Netflix, Pixar and Pinterest. Broken down by age and gender, Apple is most beloved by millennials, non-millennials and women. Spotify is the most relevant brand for men.

There are a few changes this year, most notably Nike, which nabbed the No. 10 spot last year, dropped significantly this year to No. 59. The athletic brand has been in the news quite a bit over the past year thanks to its Colin Kaepernick-led campaign, which prompted both praise and ire on social media. (Nike is still the top brand in the apparel category.) Other brands shot up the index, like Roku, the streaming provider, which appeared for the first time in the top 50, at No. 17.

Prophet looked at several factors to determine this year’s Brand Relevance Index: how innovative a brand is, how much a brand inspires consumers and the public, how pragmatic and dependable a brand is and how obsessed the public is with a brand.

Though Apple came out on top overall, other brands were the top performers in these distinct categories: Consumers are obsessed with NPR and Disney, they depend on Amazon and TurboTax, Etsy and Lego inspire them and they are impressed by the innovation of Tesla and Peloton.

There are many factors that contribute to a consumer’s positive view of a brand, the index found. For example, with No. 27, Chik-Fil-A, people noted the kind attitude of its employees—all the way down to ending interactions with the phrase “my pleasure” that attributed to the warm feeling they had for the fast food chain. Pinterest’s spot-on recommendations—curated by artificial intelligence—are beloved by consumers.

“It’s tremendously exciting for us to hear from 50,000 consumers globally every year about the brands and experiences that are most relevant in their lives,” wrote Jesse Purewal, partner at Prophet, in a statement. “The winners are those that have a genuine and clear purpose, a deep customer empathy and the willingness to invest in developing and delivering a compelling experience.”

@dianapearl_ Diana is the deputy brands editor at Adweek and managing editor of Brandweek.