Forget advertising, incentives and, yes, even our excellently crafted vehicle reviews, sometimes the best way for automakers to sell cars is still good ol' fashioned word of mouth. In an attempt to measure this "word of mouth" power, The Boston Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, has created a new study called the Brand Advocacy Index (BAI). The index takes a look at how various industries perform from person to person. Those industries include automotive, smartphones, grocery, mobile telecommunications and banking.
The study polled more than 32,000 individuals across Europe and in the US to come up with the top 55 brands in these various industries. On the automotive side of things, the top brands in the US were Honda, Hyundai and Kia, all tied at 63 percent. On a global scale, Volkswagen and Toyota scored the highest with a 65-percent BAI rating (both in France). The average BAI for auto industry players tallied 50 percent.
As for companies in other industries, Apple's iPhone was the index's top-rated smartphone, Trader Joe's was the highest recommended grocery store, Virgin was sat atop the mobile telecom industry and USAA was the top retail bank. Scroll down for the full press release on the new study.