updated 3/25/2014 8:47:00 AM ET 2014-03-25T12:47:00

Which brands are most deserving of your emotional attachment, respect and continued patronage? We set out to determine exactly that, surveying more than 5,000 Entrepreneur readers to learn the companies that elicit their greatest loyalty and trust. Here are the results.

1. Sephora
2. In-N-Out Burger
3. Publix
4. Patrón
5. Trader Joe's
6. The Ritz-Carlton hotel company
7. Panera Bread
8. Virgin America
9. Southwest Airlines
10. Apple Store
11. Whole Foods Market
12. Wynn Las Vegas
13. Bellagio
14. Nordstrom
15. Target
16. Four Seasons
17. Chipotle Mexican Grill
18. Maker's Mark
19. The Glenlivet
20. Costco wholesale
21. T.J.Maxx
22. Ulta beauty
23. Embassy Suites hotels
24. Residence Inn by Marriott
25. Chick-fil-A
26. Morton's the steakhouse
27. The James
28. The Venetian
29. Ruth's Chris Steak house
30. Tiffany & Co.
31. Courtyard by Marriott
32. Starbucks
33. St. Regis
34. Bacardi
35. Royal Caribbean International
36. Johnnie Walker
37. Tanqueray
38. Hampton Inn
39. Macy's
40. The Macallan
41. MAC Cosmetics
42. Enterprise Rent-A-Car
43. Marshalls
44. Doubletree by Hilton
45. Meijer
46. P.F. Chang's
47. Seabourn
48. IKEA
49. Captain Morgan
50. Hyatt Place
51. Subway
52. Maggiano's Little Italy
53. Five Guys Burgers and Fries
54. Grey Goose
55. Mondrian
56. The Cheesecake Factory
57. Tito's Handmade Vodka
58. Hilton Garden Inn
59. Delano
60. The Standard

On behalf of Entrepreneur Media Inc., Emotographics of Princeton, N.J., conducted e-mail surveys of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial intenders. The purpose of the surveys was to establish the distribution of customer emotional engagement with individual brands across entire markets and to form the statistical basis for ranking the brands in total and within competitive categories.

A total of 5,090 responses were generated across nine surveys that included 52 competitive subsets and produced a 98 percent confidence level, plus or minus 5 percent, an industry standard. More than 900 brands were rated in the surveys.

The categories were selected for their relevance and inclusion of entrepreneurial brands, and for their usage and familiarity by entrepreneurs.

Each question was designed to elicit an expression of emotional engagement with the brand, ranging from loyalty to passivity, ambivalence, disengagement or outright anger. Respondents were asked to rate only brands with which they had done business or about which they had a firm, informed opinion.

Respondents were also asked about influences that are essential or unessential to their commitment of loyalty toward a brand, as well as demographic and regional information.

The data were plotted to show the distribution of loyalty, market share in play, customer alienation and customer passivity by brand, and by the total market for each competitive subset. The findings were also analyzed by demographic unit, including gender, age, income and region.

The ratings considered two primary factors that determine a brand's competitiveness and prospects for growth. The first factor is the amount of loyalty a brand and its customer experience generates, the prime indicator of the amount of organic growth it can expect to be created by its current customer base. The second is the efficiency with which it generates that loyalty, weighted by the level of ambivalence, passivity and alienation its brand perception and brand experience also produces.

Copyright © 2013, Inc.


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