Relentlessly Relevant Brands 2023

Relentlessly Relevant Brands 2023
Relentlessly Relevant Brands 2023
Relentlessly Relevant Brands 2023

Brand Relevance Insights


Brand Relevance
Matters More Than Ever.

Relevance is critical to building loyalty and winning consumers, but to truly be successful in a world where brands matter more than ever, brands need to become relentlessly relevant. We surveyed more than 11,500 U.S. consumers to find out which brands are the most indispensable to their lives.


Most Relevant
Brands Over Time

With COVID-19 disrupting people’s lives in innumerable ways, only these nine brands have maintained relentless relevance with consumers throughout the pandemic. Of those, only two–Apple and KitchenAid–have been able to do so continuously since Prophet launched our first report in 2016.


Why Relevance

While consumers crave relevance more than ever, brands travel different paths to create that connection. Some appeal primarily to people's heads, with practical benefits. Others win by speaking to hearts, building emotional bonds. This year insights include a notable tilt toward the heart. In this post-pandemic world, people want more than essential services and functions. Brands that scored big on pandemic pragmatism are now losing ground to those making deeper emotional connections.

Top 50 relevant brand
performance over S&P 500
in past 5 years
of brands increased relevance
increase in the average
relevance across all brands
Indispensable All-Stars
Pulling Our Heartstrings
Head-First Appeal

Indispensable All-Stars

The most relentlessly relevant brands speak to the head and the heart. These brands find ways to tap into the human side of relevance. Elite performers deliver on the functional needs, while also connecting with consumers on an emotional level. They win respect and appreciation for all the practical functions they serve. But they also delight us and spark joy. It’s hard to do consistently. Apple is peerless- consistently leading the pack since 2016. Only one other brand–KitchenAid–has made the top decile of our Index each year.

Both brands earn the highest praise. Consumers say they make better products than competitors, even at high price points. They are dependable, trustworthy, and consistent, giving people what they expect. But they're equally as inspired by innovations they didn't expect, with new experiences and engagements that delight them.

  • KitchenAid-White
  • Apple-White

Pulling Our Heartstrings

Brands that speak more to consumers' hearts are seeing a resurgence as consumers push past the pandemic era and look to redefine what matters most in their lives. For the first time since 2019, consumers are seeking brands that offer an emotional connection rather than functional benefits. While dependability and trust remain important, people are looking for new ways to change, grow and discover.

Today’s consumers are prioritizing health, wellness and self-care in new ways, and heart brands are their fiercest allies. Peloton, CrossFit, Calm App, and Noom are all top performers. Each of them–along with Fitbit–score highly on the "makes me feel inspired" measure. YouTube also offers encouragement, whether it's advice on changing spark plugs or a laugh from a comedy clip.

  • fitbit-White
  • Peloton-White
  • YouTube-White

Head-First Appeal

Brands that most appeal to consumers' heads aren't just practical, sensible, or functional. They are all those things–performed with ninja-like precision. Take TurboTax, a brand many people interact with just one day a year. But that day matters and this software brand has consistently excelled at "meets an important need in my life." Afterpay wins through consistency, trustworthiness and–in a shaky economy–easy access to deferred payments. And Honda continues to impress with its promise of performance and fuel efficiency taking on new meaning in automotive turmoil.

But for consumers who love to do their homework, knowing a brand makes better products than its competitors is a critical element, fueling commitment to brands as diverse as Ritz-Carlton, Band-Aid, Clorox and LEGO.

  • Afterpay-White
  • Honda-White
  • TurboTax-White
Want to build your brand’s relevance?
Download the report to see how Prophet’s brand engine model
can help reimagine your brand, creating relentless relevance
and uncommon growth.

For more than 100 years, KitchenAid has celebrated the kitchen as a place of energy and creativity. By blending innovative technology, enduring quality, and timeless design, we continue to focus on making products that enable consumers to do more while creating memorable experiences.

— Chad Ries, Global Brand Director, KitchenAid



In a fast-changing world, brand relevance matters more than ever. Some brands excel by speaking to people’s hearts, making magic with a dazzling ability to sinpure and connect. Others are practical allies, building relevance through their ability to solve problems, eliminate frustrations and make life easier. And some brands have achieved both. Intelligent and inspired, they’re the names people can’t live without.

How were the included brands selected?

We select consumer brands in 26 categories, chosen because they represent significant proportions of household spending and/or time. Within those categories, we selected about 85% of brands on the basis of revenue size and/or recent growth. We selected the remaining 15% on market entry criteria, such as disruption potential or momentum (particularly for private companies). This ensures the set of brands tested are objective in their selection and representative across the country.

What was the primary research objective?

To understand how winning brands establish themselves as relentlessly relevant, from the perspective of customers.

How many brands did consumers evaluate?

In total, people rated 257 brands. We exclude brands in the alcohol, tobacco and firearms categories, as well as companies engaged solely or primarily in business-to-business (B2B) categories.

What does it mean for a brand to be relentlessly relevant?

Relevance encompasses all the elements required for a strong brand and healthy bottom line, including high demand, strong appeal and products and services that add value to a customer’s life. The most relentlessly relevant brands make exceptional connections with the head and heart of modern consumers.

To what extent does this build on David Aaker’s IP?

To a significant extent. Of all the characteristics of a brand, the one that is most necessary for its success is relevance. David Aaker's core point, that brands must create and dominate new subcategories, is central to the idea of relevance. Thus, it is a key aspect of Prophet’s definition of a relevant brand.


At Chewy, we believe no one should ever pet parent alone. Our focus is to support pet-parents to take on every moment with confidence and optimism, so their pets can be happy and healthy. We understand their needs, have a rich depth of pet care knowledge, and provide the most complete assortment of products and services. Because we know they’re not just pets. They’re more.

— Nicole Grasso, Director, Brand Strategy, Chewy


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