SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon, the world's largest bookseller, emerged as the best-perceived brand in the US last year, overtaking automaker Ford, which slipped to second place in the latest YouGov BrandIndex rankings for the US market.

Forming part of a wider survey that covered 14 other countries, YouGov's US Buzz Rankings list for 2013 measured consumer perceptions of 1,100 brands, asking respondents whether they had heard anything positive about a brand over the previous two weeks.

The "buzz score" is calculated by subtracting the percentage who answered in the negative from those who had heard something positive, MediaPost explained.

Online retailer Amazon achieved an average buzz score of 30.6 in 2013, followed by Ford with a score of 29.5 and then sandwich chain Subway, the top brand in 2012, which received a score of 29.4.

Other brands making up the top 10 buzz rankings included the History Channel (26.4 average), home improvement store Lowe's (25.9), YouTube (25.1), online pharmacy Walgreen's (24.8), drinks brand V8 (24.7), Cheerios cereal (23.9) and Kindle (23.8), which effectively placed Amazon in the top ten twice over.

Among notable brands securing positions in the top 25, electronics giant Samsung beat rival Apple (at 11 and 18 respectively), although Apple's iPad was ranked No.16 (21.8 buzz score) and its iPhone was placed No.17 (21.7).

With a score of 22.7, Netflix was ranked at No.12 while other significant names in the top 25 included Home Depot (21.8, at No.15), M&Ms chocolate (20.8, at No.20) and tractor maker John Deere (20.3, at No.25).

Several banks and financial services providers notably improved their consumer perception scores over the year with four banks making up the top five improvers.

Goldman Sachs, for example, increased from -22.6 to -12.2 while Bank of America rose from -22.4 to -13.3 – but, significantly, banks continued to remain in negative territory.

The greatest improvement on the previous year was recorded by American Airlines, which rose from -7.1 in 2012 to +4.3 in 2013.

Data sourced from YouGov BrandIndex, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff