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Tesla Motors is top US cultural brand

News, 19 December 2014

LOS ANGELES: Electric car maker Tesla Motors has overtaken Google to be named as the most culturally vibrant brand in the US, according to the latest USA Cultural Traction report.

Now in its fourth year, the study was produced by strategic marketing firm Added Value, which questioned 7,500 US consumers about more than 70 brands in 14 sectors.

Consumers were asked to evaluate which brands projected the most Visionary, Inspiring, Bold and Exciting (VIBE) attributes, and Added Value said there have been several changes since last year.

As well as noting that Google has slipped from the top spot, the report said third-placed Amazon's VIBE had climbed 10% as it continued to extend its business into new areas, such as drones and mobile phones.

Apple, which was the top cultural brand in Added Value's inaugural report four years ago, was ranked fourth although it still "remains a strong force to contend with".

Samsung and Microsoft were ranked fifth and sixth respectively while Etsy, the online marketplace, came in seventh 

Etsy had managed to edge out rival eBay from the top ten because it offered a brand experience "that is more real, personal, and fun," the report said.

Sports brand Nike, Ford and Coca-Cola rounded out the top ten and the report highlighted Ford's category leadership in social as helping it to drive the brand forward.

"We're in an age where people seek a multiplicity of brand experiences, super-personalised connectivity, and deeper, more meaningful interactions with the world around them – including the brands they affiliate with," said Maggie Taylor, CEO of Added Value North America.

"Tesla, Google and Amazon stand apart from the pack as those best leveraging, even driving, these shifts in culture," she concluded.

Turning to some of the brands outside of the top ten, the report noted that Jaguar, the upmarket auto marque, posted the biggest gains in cultural traction over the past year after its marketing drew on its strong British heritage.

But Facebook's brand VIBE has fallen 25% since 2011 and retailer Target saw its cultural traction decline 27% since last year's report.

Data sourced from Added Value; additional content by Warc staff