What’s in a brand? That omnipresent advertisement looming in the window can make us recall our first date or the time our parents dropped us off at college. It reminds us when we return home from studying abroad that living in the United States is both a freedom and a gift. A brand can be all of these things, so what makes a brand not only familiar and recognizable at first glance, but also treasured and trusted by consumers?


Our editorial team at MUIPR had questions of our own surrounding this topic, so we collected data to supplement our search. We found out that Americans have a lot to say when it comes to the brands they trust. The following ten brands represent America’s most trustworthy, according to the “Values Institute” study conducted by a partnership with Santa Ana Marketing firm DGWB and Entrepreneur Media and printed for the public by Jan Norman.


Perhaps the mystery that makes a brand so great is not so much of a mystery as it is a matter of respect for the consumer. Let us know if you agree or disagree with the following findings.


1. AMAZON. Drones or no drones, American consumers place their trust in the speed and quality of delivery offered by this online retailer.

The Values Institute within Santa Ana ad agency DGWB and Entrepreneur Media ranked the five components of trust as including: ability, concern, connection, consistency and sincerity. Americans must sense all of these components in their shopping experiences with Amazon because the corporation can’t stop and won’t stop doing what it does best.


2. FORD MOTOR COMPANY. Americana themes didn’t just become a hot trend in the past year or so; trusting an American brand seemed to remain crucial for the individuals tallied in the study. This dependability is something that consumers feel they can hold onto in a world where so many changes sweep the nation on a daily basis. That something to hold onto matters, and Ford gets it.


3. COCA COLA. COKE stock has value left even after being hit by consumer health concerns regarding artificial sweeteners. A favorite stock option of successful investor/philanthropist, Warren Buffett, the bottling giant continues to illicit Americana nostalgia for its fans.


4. SOUTHWEST AIRLINES. Not remembering much about this company other than all the times Oprah narrated sponsorship ads on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” DGWB’s Mike Weisman explained that “the airline gets high marks for being concerned about things customers care about, such as not charging for luggage. They don’t train employees to be friendly, they hire for that.”


5. APPLEAre we in too deep? Absolutely, without a doubt. Can we stop? Probably not.

Not too surprised this successful brand made it on the list since it has virtually taken over the virtual world.


6. TARGET. Despite heavy hitters, such as Warren Buffett personally advocating for Wal-Mart stock, U.S. consumers actually feel better spending dollars more on household goods shopping at Target.

High quality and design do trump cheap prices in consumer’s minds. This brand would be utter perfection if they matched Wal-Mart’s prices and, in a dream world, lowered them.


7. FEDEX. Dependability factors into trusting followers and Fedex does the best it can to make things right by its consumers.  Even if the company messes something up, they seem to always do everything in their power to mend the situation.


8. STARBUCKSWhy else would we be willing to pay a staggering $10 for two simple white chocolate mochas and a cheese pretzel? No other company besides Starbucks warrants that much consumer trust, especially considering this MUIPR has student loans on her mind.


9. NORDSTROM. Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom guarantees quality customer service no matter what and free shipping always helps this cause. Consistently mentioned a success by business insiders, it’s not much of a surprise that this consumer survey uncovered similar results.


10. NIKE. Despite performing well in the survey for being able to deliver a high quality product, the shoe giant lags behind on the top 10 list because it ranks low for behaving with responsibility.


So, what do you think of America’s top-trusted brands? Do you agree? Would you add another personal favorite to the above list? Let me know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro