There's a new list of America's 25 most loved brands. Apple isn't on it

Apple has always been regarded as one of the most valuable brands in the world. A survey suggests people's love for it slipping? I tried to find out why.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

Surveys, like love, come and go.

Like love, they purport to be the real thing. Then, like love, another survey comes along and there's a new real thing.

I was moved, however, by a study that attempted to identify the brands Americans love most.

Our nation seems to be bathing in the opposite of love these days. Which brands have risen above the hateful mire to inspire deep feelings?

According to a study of responses from more than 400,000 US adults, conducted by consultancy Morning Consult, the most loved brand in America is Amazon.

Yes, the company whose employees seem regularly to protest about the lovelessness of their working conditions.

It seems that tech companies still get consumers' hearts racing. Google is at number 2, Netflix at number 3. Samsung and YouTube also made the top 25.

I stared and stared, though, and didn't see Apple.

This seemed absurd. Every ad agency and brand consultancy in the world has, at one stage or another, held Apple up as the very deity of brand love. Moreover, Apple has been named the world's most valuable brand with unseemly regularity.

Can it be that, with the slightly more muted reception for Cupertino's products of late, a little of the love has died?

Naturally, I contacted Morning Consult to ask about Apple's apparent fall from grace. 

"Apple has never made our Top 25 rankings," a Morning Consult spokesman told me.

Excuse me? What? Never? Not once?

It turns out this ranking has been going for three years -- three years in which Apple has enjoyed vast profits, but also its share of strategic struggles. As have all hardware manufacturers.

But if Samsung can occupy the 12th spot in Morning Consult's survey, why on earth has Apple never appeared?

"We've always seen of course a strong affinity for the brand for Apple users," Morning Consult's spokesman told me. "But non-Apple users tend to have a strong unfavorable view of it."

Still? After all these years, there's still some sort of emotional Resistance?

Surveys can be most disturbing, can't they?

I asked Morning Consult to offer a more detailed breakdown of what sorts of people harbor Apple-distaste the most.

The company breaks down its numbers into generational and other categories.

It seems the greatest dislike of the Apple brand comes from rural areas. Could it be that Apple has come to represent the ruling elites and the, um, Deep State of tech brands?

Sifting through the numbers, I also see that millennials and Generation X don't overflow with love for Apple.

You may be stunned into hibernating with your favorite marsupials, however, when I tell you the greatest love for Apple was felt by a category known as Consumer Elites.

I asked Apple for its deeper feelings about these results and will update, should I hear.

I do, though, want to end on an optimistic chord. I looked deeper and deeper to see whether there was hope for Apple's future.

Well, after the Consumer Elites, the next category of human to offer greater passion for Apple was Generation Z, the 18 to 21-year-olds.

Then again, what do they know about love?

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